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Dear Sir, 

In dedicating to you the following pages, the author is 
influenced by reasons, the statement of which will not, he 
trusts, be discreditable to either party. 

Nearly thirty years ago, you were one of the first, and now, 
alas ! almost the only survivor of those friends, to whom he 
was chiefly indebted for encouragement and support, at a 
period when to him these were peculiarly valuable; and 
your advice on various points connected with his literary 
pursuits, was as freely given, as it was beneficial. 

To your professional care and eminent skill, on various 
occasions, he considers himself indebted, under Divine Pro- 
vidence, for the prolongation of life ; and the promptitude and 
liberality with which your attentions were ever rendered, 
in the time of necessity and disease, to himself and family, 
are not the less deserving of acknowledgment, because 
shared in common with many other persons, in similar 


Although entertaining sentiments different from your 
own on some of those subjects, both in Religion and Poli- 
tics, which, in the eventful period of the last thirty years, 
have agitated the public mind, and frequently broken the 
bonds of amity between friends; and from his situation 
necessarily called upon to avow and defend those opinions 
which he himself had conscientiously adopted ; the writer 
is not aware that he has ever thereby forfeited your good 
will ; certainly he has never, for a moment, experienced the 
slightest relaxation in your kindness — an instance of libera- 
lity, unpurchased by servile adulation, which, even in this 
professedly liberal age, will be more generally praised than 

Several of the following pieces received your approbation 
when first published. The reprint of a selection of them 
has been often solicited by friends, who, either from the 
principle of association, and the reminiscences of former and 
perhaps more happy times, or from partiality to the author, 
attribute to them more merit than they intrinsically pos- 
sess. These solicitations have led to the present publica- 
tion ; and one gratification it affords him, is the opportunity 
of thus publicly acknowledging his obligations to your 
kindness, and of expressing his warmest wishes for your 
happiness, and the prolongation of your valuable life. 

With these sentiments, the writer begs leave to subscribe 


Dear Sir, 

Your most obedient Servant, 
Hull, June 29, 1829. *' W - 




1. On the qualifications of a Periodical Essayist... ..... 1 

2. The difficulties of a second address 9 

3. On the various motives for visiting the country. The 

dispositions of mind requisite for enjoying it with 
advantage . . 15 

4. Letter from Priscilla on Starers ; with the Inspector's 

remarks on the subject. — Letter on a local incon- 
venience , 25 

5. Religion : an allegory 33 

6. On eulogizing the dead : Letter from David Dulbard, 

proposing a new plan for newspaper obituaries, 
with the Inspector's remarks upon it 41 

7. The rights of men, ought not to occasion a disregard 

to their du ties towards others. — Characters of Attains 
and Floretta 51 

8. On the indiscriminate ascription of the title of Esquire 60 

9. The vision of Bachelors c Q6 

10. On the errors of parents, in choosing employments for 

their children Letter of David Dulbard on that 

subject — Another, from Jack Spratt 79 

11. The virtuous man the best patriot 86 

12. Letter on walking the streets. — Another, in defence of 

the Starers — with remarks on each of them 97 

13. Some prevalent evils in society pointed out. The 

character of Tom Wou'd be 104 

14. The Metropolis and Hull compared, in regard to sub- 

jects for the Essayist ,,,,.111 



15. Fifty years ago and tbe present time contrasted, in the 

character of a tradesman of each ; with a letter from 
Tofty Clappy, a modish trader : and a plan pro- 
posed by him for a general reform 119 

16. Letter from Sextus on slanderous conversation; re- 

marks thereon : anecdote of Sir R. Fletcher and 
Foote; extract from Bishop Butler on speaking 
evil of others 125 

17. On Charitable Institutions. Recommendation of the 

Repository for Female Work 135 

18. Timothy Softly's complaint of a notable wife; with 

observations on the subject. A receipe for conjugal 
happiness , 14*0 

19. Filial kindness and attention exemplified in the charac- 

ter of Eudoxus 150 

20. Tofty Clappy's history of his speculations in horses. 

Crito on marriage gifts to the debtors. 159 

21. Letter from Sophia on the evils of gaming. — Observa- 

tions on that detestable vice 166 

22. On proverbs: — and especially on "Take care of the 

pence ; the pounds will take care of themselves.". . 173 

23. On the choice of a title for these essays : and its con- 

sequences. — Letter from Lydia Thoughtless 183 

24. On modern politeness. The character of a gentleman 

drawn by Isocrates, of Athens 191 

25. The necessity and beneficial effects of order and regu- 

larity T. . 199 

26. The history of fashions. Some modern ones satyr ized. 205 

27. The necessity of attention to apparent trifles 213 

28. Various definitions of virtue. That of Aristotle par- 

ticularly considered. The character of Prudentius.221 

29. On the evil effects of party spirit 231 

30. Reasons for belief in the existence of modern witch- 

craft , ... 239 

31. A father's complaint of the undutiful conduct of a 

daughter. Remarks on modern education 247 

32. Modern fashions satyrized 255 

33. On a singular and prevalent disease 260 

34. Proposal for the employment of women in the army 

and navy .................................. 265 




The Consolation 273 

On the superiority of Religious Views . 275 

Cecilia .'..., 278 

Ode to Health 280 

Flavilla , 283 

Time : an Elegy 285 

Epigram on a talkative Blockhead 287 

Acasto 288 

On the Rainbow 292 

To Evening 293 

Lines addressed to a Friend 295 

Aspasia « 297 

Consumption 302 

To a Lady, on seeing her shed tears at the recital of a case 

of real distress 307 

Lines on reading Dr. Darwin's Temple of Nature. 309 

Lines on a visit to a former Place of Residence. 313 

The Rural Moralist , 315 

An Epitaph 317 

To Care 318 

A Winter's Address 321 

An Address to Humanity. 322 

The Reply Courteous 324 

Lines on a visit to the Sea Shore. 326 

The Thorn without the Rose , 328 

Lines to a Physiognomist , 329 

Epitaph on Henry and Emma 330 

Celia . . o 332 

The deceitfulness of Hope 333 

Sonnets.— To Fortitude 335 

To Anna 336 

Apedale 337 

To the Cuckow 338 

To the Nightingale 339 

On a Boy building a Castle of Cards 340 

To Religion 341 

On a Moth,, , „,„,„„ 342 



Sonnets. — Hornsea 343 

On a view of the Sea in a Storm . ,344 





Nos. 10 and 15 ; the letters of David Dulbard, in No. 4 ; of P. W. i 
No. 18 ; of Tofty Clappy, in No. 20 ; and of Timothy Plain, in No. 31 , 
were the productions of the late George Gale, Esq. 

Nos. 8, 13, and 17, were the contributions of Mr. J. Crosse. The 
letters of Amicus and S. in No. 12, are believed to have been by the late 
Mr. R. Garland. 

Those of Sophia, in No. 21 ; Lydia Thoughtless, in No. 23; and No. 
25, were by unknown Correspondents. 

For the remainder of these papers, the responsibility rests on 

I. W. 


Number i. 

vJf the various species of writing that have been 
employed, during the last century, as vehicles for 
amusement and instruction, none has been more 
popular than that of periodical essays: and per- 
haps to no other are we so much indebted for the 
general diffusion of knowledge, and that meliora- 
tion which the state of society has undergone. In 
the writings of Addison and his coadjutors, a vari- 
ety of information on subjects that came home to 
the business and bosom of every man, was clothed 
in beautiful and expressive language, and rendered 
accessible to all classes of readers ; and although 
many of the topics so ably handled in the Specta- 
tor and Guardian, are now become obsolete, in 
consequence of fluctuations in manners and 
fashions, yet these works still hold the highest 
rank among the standard productions of English 


literature. — Subsequent writers pursued the track 
thus happily pointed out, and have furnished us 
with a succession of essays on a similar plan, 
various in their degrees of merit, from the Ram- 
bler of Dr. Johnson, down to the Pic Nic of 
recent memory. 

When we consider the multiplicity of subjects 
which have been discussed, either directly or 
incidentally, by the host of periodical writers, it 
would appear no easy task for the utmost inge- 
nuity to discover a topic that had not already been 
exhausted. Human nature, it may be alleged, is 
still the same. The principles of action among 
mankind have often been investigated ; and the 
workings of the heart, under all the modifications 
resulting from constitution, education, or external 
circumstances, laid open to our view. In the sci- 
ence of morals, no new lights have latterly been 
discovered, from which our duties can be more 
accurately deduced, or enforced with greater effect. 
No combination of words is yet known by which 
truth may be conveyed with irresistible force to 
the hearts of those who are prepossessed against 
it, either from inclination or habit ; nor can the 
passions yet be taught to move uniformly at the 
command of reason. 

But though the periodical essayist of the pre- 
sent day must, consequently, labour under many 


disadvantages, in common with his predecessors, 
in addition to others from which they were 
exempt, there seems no reason why he should be 
denied the use of that mode of conveying his 
sentiments, by which they have deservedly ob- 
tained the approbation of their countrymen. If 
he has no recent discoveries in morals to an- 
nounce, he may still be usefully employed in 
disseminating old principles, in enforcing them 
by fresh examples, and applying them to the 
existing state of society. The useful lesson which 
has repeatedly been heard with neglect, may 
obtain attention when delivered in another form, 
as the appetite of the epicure is stimulated anew 
to action, by the application of a different season- 
ing. Manners and fashions are perpetually chan- 
ging, and afford a constant theme for observation 
and remark. The passions and affections of the 
human heart are subject to such an infinite variety 
of combinations, that some gleanings may yet be 
found to reward the diligent Inspector. Many 
doubtful points in different branches of literature 
remain unsolved ; and numerous beauties have 
never been pointed ou£in the writings of our emi- 
nent authors, or otherwise have been forgotten, 
which, if pressed upon the attention of youth, 
might influence them to pursue the paths of virtue 
with redoubled energy. To these we may add, that 


several persons who have neither time nor inclina- 
tion to avail themselves of the lucubrations of for- 
mer writers, may yet be induced to peruse a short 
essay in the columns of that fashionable vehicle of 
intelligence — a newspaper. Curiosity may induce 
others to take a cursory glance for the sake of gues- 
sing at the author; and, " though last, not least," 
a wish to find fault with the productions of a con- 
temporary, may be the means of procuring him a 
multiplicity of readers. 

The qualifications requisite for filling with eclat 
the office of a periodical essayist, are indeed such as 
can scarcely be found combined in one individual. 
Some minds are fitted by nature and education for 
abstruse disquisitions on important topics in morals 
or literature, who are totally incapable of attaining 
to the classical suavity of the Spectator, or the 
broader humour which marks the pages of the 
Connoiseur. On the contrary, others who possess 
the art of trifling agreeably, are unable to enforce, 
with proper dignity, the precepts of morality. It 
has often been observed, that the Rambler would 
have been more attractive to the generality of rea- 
ders, had the excellent papers it contains been 
mingled with a greater proportion of others of a 
lighter nature ; and Dr. Johnson, we are informed 
by one of his biographers, acknowledged the just- 
ness of this remark. The periodical essayist, 


therefore, who aspires to procure the suffrages of 
the many, should be able 

— — " happily to steer 

" From grave to gay, from lively to severe." 

To the preceding* qualifications, however, others 
ought to be added, in order to give them their full 
force and effect. What Imlac observes of the 
accomplished poet, may, in a great measure, be 
applied to the essayist : — " To him nothing can be 
useless. Whatever is beautiful, and whatever is 
dreadful, must be familiar to his imagination ; he 
must be conversant with all that is awfully vast or 
elegantly little. The plants of the garden, the 
animals of the wood, the minerals of the earth, and 
meteors of the sky, must all concur to store his 
mind with inexhaustible variety ; for every idea is 
useful for the enforcement or decoration of moral 
or religious truth ; and he who knows most, will 
have most power of diversifying his scenes, and of 
gratifying his reader with remote allusions and un- 
expected instruction. *•*♦*■* * * But the 
knowledge of nature is only half his task ; he must 
be acquainted likewise with all the modes of life. 
His character requires that he estimate the happi- 
ness and misery of every condition ; observe the 
power of all the passions in all their combinations, 
and trace the changes of the human mind as they 


are modified by various institutions and accidental 
influences of climate or custom, from the sprightli- 
ness of infancy to the despondence of decrepitude. 
He must divest himself of the prej udices of his age 
and country ; he must consider right and wrong 
in their abstracted and invariable state ; he must 
disregard present laws and opinions, and rise to 
general and transcendental truths, which will 
always be the same. * * * * That his style 
may be worthy of his thoughts, he must, by 
incessant practice, familiarize to himself every 
delicacy of speech, and grace of harmony." 

The answer of Rasselas will, perhaps, be deemed 
equally proper here : — " Enough ! thou hast con- 
vinced me no man can be an essayist" It may be 
observed, however, that though our attaining the 
summit of excellence in any department of art or 
science, is next to an impossibility, this is no reason 
why we ought to discontinue our efforts. If such a 
principle had been generally acted upon, few of 
those valuable writings of which we are in posses- 
sion, would ever have seen the light. Some per- 
son, whose name I cannot at present recollect, has 
pointed out, as one of the marks of genius, that its 
performances never equal its conceptions. The 
most esteemed authors have frequently been dissa- 
tisfied with such of their own labours as procured 
them the admiration and applause of others ; and 


had the judgment of Virgil been attended to by his 
friends, the ^Eneid had never immortalized his 
name. It must be allowed, that no man, in any of 
the common departments of life, ought to desist 
from attempting, at least, to promote the good of 
his fellow-creatures, merely because he does not 
possess all those endowments which are requisite 
to effectuate it in the highest degree ; nor does 
there seem any reason why even inferior attain- 
ments in literature ought to debar the possessor 
of them from contributing his mite to the diffu- 
sion of useful knowledge. Persons distinguished 
for their eminent acquisitions in science or in art, 
are frequently less capable of communicating a 
portion of their information to others, than those 
whose abilities are confessedly of a much lower 
standard. The profound observations and ener- 
getic style of the Rambler, although calculated 
to enlighten and gratify the minds of men who 
have had a liberal education, will fail to produce 
equal effect where similar advantages have been 
denied. Besides, in the circumstance before us, 
as well as in the common occurrences of life, the 
co-operation of many will overcome obstacles, 
and produce consequences, to which the efforts 
of an individual are totally inadequate. 

Upon these grounds it is, that the Inspector 
presumes to make its appearance before the public, 


and to solicit that candour and indulgence which 
good intentions are generally allowed to claim. 
The Printers of the Hull Advertiser have 
consented to set apart a portion of that paper, 
every week or fortnight, for the reception of the 
future numbers, provided they appear to meet 
with approbation. Many persons who are quali- 
fied by their talents and studies to confer respec- 
tability on any undertaking of this nature, are 
undoubtedly to be found in the circuit of that 
paper. The assistance of such is respectfully 
solicited. Communications addressed " To the 
Inspector," at the Printers hereof, will receive due 
notice, and an early insertion, if adapted to answer 
the intention of this work. 



The disadvantages attendant on a periodical 
essayist, in his first address to the public, form a 
theme on which many writers have expatiated, and 
in such a manner as would induce a belief, that af- 
ter this obstacle was conquered, the path would be 
found plain and easy. Although, like Congreve's 
Sir Joseph Wittol, they are almost necessitated to 
ask " which way's the wind ?" in order to obtain an 
introduction, they seem to think with him, that 
when this is once accomplished, they may " prattle 
like a magpye." My readers may naturally sup- 
pose that I entertained no very contemptible opi- 
nion of my own qualifications, when I conceived 
the idea of presenting them with my thoughts in 
this manner : nor will they, I trust, consider it as 
an acknowledgment of my inability to carry the 
measure into execution, when I confess, that to me 
the second address has ever appeared equally 
difficult with the first. 

When an author has once framed a plan, which 
he considers not only eligible so far as it respects 
himself, but even likely to be productive of some 
little benefit to the community in general, fancy is 
apt to beguile him with pleasing prospects of the 



success which will ultimately attend it. He either 
does not calculate upon the existence of any impe- 
diments, which may render its Execution difficult, 
or flatters himself that they will be found only such 
as very slight exertions will enable him to over- 
come. Hope stimulates to action: but as the 
period approaches in which his lucubrations are 
to be submitted to the criticism of contemporaries, 
whose judgments are frequently biassed by circum- 
stances that have little connection with his merits 
or demerits, he must be allowed to feel anxious 
for the fate of productions, in bringing which 
to maturity, many hours may have been passed 
in meditation and intense study. After Pope had 
engaged in the translation of Homer, we are told 
by his biographer, that he began to be frighted at 
his own undertaking, and in consequence of the 
embarrassments which he felt, became timorous 
and uneasy ; he had his nights disturbed by dreams 
of long joumies through unknown ways, and, to 
use his own expression, wished that somebody 
would hang him. 

Suppose the hour of publication to be passed ; 
and the author's first essay to have met with a flat- 
tering reception from those whom he is most desi- 
rous of pleasing ; his mind is so far from being 
relieved, bythese considerations, from the agitation 
previously felt, that he has now additional reasons 


for anxiety and circumspection. That reputation 
which years have been spent in acquiring, he is 
well aware is often irrecoverably lost in one day. 
An accidental slip of the pen, the adoption of an 
opinion not generally received, or a stroke of satire 
at a prevailing and fashionable vice, may offend 
those who are looked up to as the arbiters of taste ; 
and with whom a thousand acknowledged beauties 
will not be considered sufficient compensation 
for one solitary blunder, one single error (if error it 
be) of imagination or of judgment. As the frail- 
ties of men, distinguished for their talents or 
virtues, are commonly treated with a degree of 
severity proportioned to the estimation in which 
their characters were previously held — so, in this 
case, the superior merit of preceding compositions, 
will be officiously adduced as aggravating a sub- 
sequent deterioration. 

Should the author, .on the contrary, find that his 
first essay drops " dead born" from the press, and 
neither procures him applause nor censure; or if it 
experience still greater severity, and all expecta- 
tions of success be nipped in the bud by the chil- 
ling breath of uncandid criticism, it can scarcely 
be expected that a second attempt will be equally 
vigorous as the former. Few persons are so devoid 
of sensibility as to be totally indifferent to either 
praise or censure. Under such circumstances, 


consciousness of the purity of our intentions is 
indeed a powerful incentive to action ; but this 
alone will scarcely suffice to give animation to our 
pursuits, unless perseverance in them is clearly 
and decisively pointed out as the path of duty. 
What wonder, therefore, if the spirit of exertion 
relax ; and those plans which were conceived in a 
moment of mental exhilaration, be conducted with 
supineness, if not totally relinquished, in a fit of 
despondency ? Few men have possessed a greater 
degree of resolution than Sir Walter Raleigh ; 
yet even that accomplished scholar and statesman, 
we are told, was not proof against the untoward 
treatment which his well-known history of the 
world experienced. It is confidently asserted, 
that the manuscript of a second volume of that 
work was committed to the flames, lest it should 
bring upon the publisher of it the same disas- 
trous consequences which had attended the pub- 
lication of the former part. 

In such a predicament, it must surely be conce- 
ded to the periodical essayist, that if those discou- 
ragements which he has encountered ought not to 
produce an immediate cessation of his labour, at 
least they lessen the inducement to prosecute it with 
an additional degree of energy ; — unless indeed we 
were to reverse the maxim of Phocion, who, when 
he was interrupted by the applause of the people, 


in the midst of an oration at Athens, inquired of his 
friends, what folly he had committed ? — How far 
the sentiments which that great man entertained of 
the Athenians were just, I shall not take upon me 
to decide ; but I have a better opinion of my own 
countrymen, than to suppose his insinuation ap- 
plicable to them : and I do hereby give it under my 
hand, that whenever they are pleased to applaud 
any of the numbers of the Inspector, I shall not, 
to use the words of honest Dogberry, " set it 
down" as folly either in myself or them. 

In the preceding observations, my readers, I 
trust, will not accuse me of attempting to enhance 
my own importance, by pressing upon their atten- 
tion the care and anxiety which authors undergo in 
their endeavours to convey amusement and instruc- 
tion. Like many manual employments, which 
seem so easy to the careless spectator as to require 
little skill or address, their writings appear capable 
of being put together with such facility, as gives 
the reader very contracted ideas of the labour and 
art indispensably necessary for their composition. 
In the acquirement of that information requisite to 
constitute a literary character, many irksome days 
and sleepless nights must be passed. Such sacri- 
fices appear entitled to some little remuneration, 
independently of that internal pleasure with which 
the acquisition of knowledge is generally attended ; 


and it does not seem unreasonable to expect, 
that the same candour, in judging of their pro- 
ductions, should be extended to authors, which is 
readily conceded to the ingenious artist or handi- 

With regard to the personal feelings of the In- 
spector, in what has been advanced, I may be 
allowed to observe, that as my preceding number 
has not, to my knowledge, received either excessive 
praise or extravagant censure, so neither has it 
fallen from the press totally without notice. The 
choice of a mode of publication which insured it 
an extensive circulation, has been productive of 
advantages superior to those possessed by others 
ushered into the world in a detached form, and 
obtained for it a much greater number of readers, 
than otherwise could have been expected. Se- 
veral correspondents have favoured me with 
communications, some of which will, in due time, 
be laid before the public. In answer to others, 
it may be necessary to state, that the Inspector 
is not meant to be made a vehicle for personal 
satire or virulent abuse. Whatever tends to pro- 
mote the interests and happiness of society, the 
love and practice of virtue, or a salutary detestation 
of vice, will be sure to meet with attention. He 
who is unable to write a book, may here have an 
•opportunity of trying the extent of his literary 


acquirements in a short essay: and under the 
mask of seeresy, be enabled to ascertain the 
opinion of his contemporaries respecting his real 
or imaginary qualifications, without subjecting 
himself to such mortifications as envy and per- 
sonal dislike are ever ready to inflict on him 
who openly avows himself a candidate for public 


The speedy and extensive communication 
which, within the last century, has been opened 
between the metropolis and the most distant parts 
of the country, has led to the adoption of many 
customs and modes of life, in the latter, which in 
old time were supposed to belong exclusively to 
the former ; and it seems no deviation from truth 
to assert, that however contemptible the inha- 
bitants of a provincial town may appear to a 
thorough-bred cockney, our present state of society 
will not be found inferior to that which prevailed 
in London itself, forty or fifty years ago. 

Perhaps in no point of view is this assimilation 
more conspicuous, than in the eagerness with 


which all classes in a country town seek to par- 
ticipate in the pleasures of rural life, or the 
delights of a watering place. In the metropolis, it 
has long been customary, at this season of the 
year, to fly from the hurry and turmoil of business, 
either to some place of comparative seclusion, or 
to one of those well-known situations which 
fashion has pointed out as fit retreats for her 
votaries. For a villa at Edmonton, or Turnham 
Green, our ingenious imitators have substituted a 
cottage, or perhaps a couple of rooms, at some of 
our neighbouring hamlets ; and the pleasures of 
Hornsea, Bridlington, or Scarbro', are sought 
after with as much avidity, and as highly relished 
by them, as the rival scenes of Margate, Chelten- 
ham, or Bath, by the more polished Londoner. 
Various are the motives of this emigration in 
quest of what are generally considered, even in 
this part of the kingdom, as rural scenes and rural 
pleasures. Want of health, partly perhaps 
occasioned by too close an imitation of the 
enervating pursuits and hours of a modish life, 
affords one very frequent and justifiable reason. 
Another prevalent one is undoubtedly to be 
found in the example of the fashionable world, 
and a wish to imitate the conduct of our supe- 
riors. The ambitious man may hope to obtain, 
by that facility of intercourse which a place of 


public resort affords, an introduction to some 
person of rank or fortune, whose interest may 
prove the means of elevating him to the summit 
of his wishes ; or the familiar use of whose name, 
at least, may excite envy or admiration at his 
intimate connexion with so distinguished a cha- 
racter. The gamester, who has been assiduously 
employed, during the rest of the year, in prac- 
tising his arts on his unsuspecting neighbours, 
may perhaps be stimulated to try his proficiency 
among those with whom he is more equally 
matched in point of skill, or who are likely to 
repay his labours with a richer harvest. In the 
exquisite viands under which a public table 
groans, the epicure may seek for a more complete 
gratification of his appetite than home could have 
afforded ; while the debauchee, weary of those 
easy triumphs which the lax manners and 
morals of cities have yielded, may probably place 
before him, as an object worthier his attention, 
the conquest of a simple country maiden, and 
the seduction of unsuspecting innocence. 
Bachelors may be induced to resort to such 
places, for the sake of obtaining wives ; and let 
me not be accused of a want of charity, by the 
loveliest part of the creation, if I add, that sin- 
gle ladies may possibly follow their example, in 
the hope of procuring husbands. 


To point out the manner in which these dif- 
ferent characters ought to act, in order to secure 
their eventual success, would be a needless task. 
Their own feelings, and the consciousness of 
their particular motives, will sufficiently indicate 
the plans they are to pursue. The gamester, 
for instance, could never think of associating with 
the epicure, and spending his precious moments 
in listening to encomiums on turtle or venison, 
in preference to the rattling of the dice-box, or 
the music of " six to one." Nor would the ambi- 
tious man care to have his dreams of imaginary 
exaltation disturbed by the perpetual " memento 
mori" of the valetudinarian. What bachelor 
need be told, that his chance of procuring a 
consort, will be increased by cultivating the ac- 
quaintance of the single ladies : or what fair lady 
is ignorant, that her exquisite charms will pro- 
cure her a larger and more gratifying portion 
of flattery and homage from the young and dis- 
engaged of the other sex ? Where large assem- 
blages of people, and their different views and 
pursuits, form the objects of undivided atten- 
tion, it were folly to dwell on the sweets of 
retirement, or the benefits to be derived from a 
contemplation of the scenes of nature. 

There are many persons, however, who are led, 
at such a season, to similar places of resort, in 


quest of that tranquillity and those rural plea- 
sures, which they have heard characterised as 
forming the most rational enjoyments of life. 
Convinced by experience, of the impossibility 
Gf attaining perfect happiness in that sphere 
wherein they have been accustomed to move, 
they look upon this impossibility as resulting 
more from local situation than from the want of 
a properly regulated mind, or the constitution of 
human nature. Poets and philosophers, in every 
age, have contributed to strengthen this opinion. 
In the writings of the former, we meet with 
exquisite descriptions of natural scenery, con- 
veyed in fascinating language, and joined with 
appeals to the fancy and feelings, calculated to 
leave a deep impression on the heart. The simple 
melody of birds, the solemn murmurs of the 
ocean, the enchanting beauties of some real or 
imaginary landscape, are represented as pro- 
ducing effects equally wonderful with those 
wrought by the lyre of Orpheus ; as irresistibly 
overpowering every turbulent passion, and imper- 
ceptibly instilling into the soul a love and 
reverence for virtue. Cicero, and most of the 
ancient philosophers, have expatiated on the 
pleasures of a country life, and the incalculable 
advantages it yields in point of tranquillity 
and genuine happiness, over a more intimate 


connexion with the world. The moderns have 
been equally inclined to propagate similar doc- 
trines. In the writings of Rousseau, they form a 
very prominent feature ; and a late well-known 
author> possessed of cultivated talents and an 
enlightened mind, has contributed not a little 
to their popularity. " We may all," he observes, 
" live in Arcadia, if we please. The beauties of 
a crystal spring, a silent grove, a daisied mea- 
dow, will chasten the feelings of the heart, and 
afford, at all times, a permanent and sure de- 

Few reflecting persons, who have had an op- 
portunity of enjoying these boasted advantages, 
can be ignorant of the fallacy of expectations raised 
on this basis. It will not be denied, that such 
scenes are capable of imparting to most persons 
a certain degree of pleasure. There is something 
naturally attractive, for instance, in the " sight- 
refreshing" livery with which the face of nature is 
decorated, as well as the simple melody of birds, 
and the invigorating healthful breeze; but a 
principal part of the impression these make upon 
the mind, depends upon its cultivation, and 
particular bias. The peasant is not necessa- 

* Zimmerman on Solitude* 


rily either happier or more virtuous in con- 
sequence of living in a situation the most 
highly favoured by nature ; — unless his taste is 
improved by education and culture, he receives 
little delight from viewing them ; and a short 
acquaintance with him will convince unpre- 
judiced inquirers, that his heart is often a prey 
to disquietude, and subject to the influence of 
violent contending passions. 

That we may be enabled to enjoy whatever 
advantages rural scenery is capable of yielding, 
it is therefore necessary that we cultivate a taste 
for its beauties. In proportion as the mind is 
elevated and expanded, our pleasures in con- 
templating them will increase. Objects which 
before seemed too insignificant to attract attention, 
will then appear in their true relative importance ; 
and from even the tamest landscape, some feature 
or other may always be selected, worthy of our 
notice and admiration. To the enlightened ob- 
server, every different herb, fruit, and flower, every 
variety of soil or product, of prospect or of sea- 
son, will convey information, and inspire sen- 
sations, to which a mind differently constituted 
must ever remain a stranger. While the untu- 
tored peasant is suffering his eye vacantly 
to wander over the surrounding scenery, or 
merely employing it in ascertaining the proper 


mode of cultivation, the former is perhaps 
tracing the progress of vegetation, from the first 
vernal bud, to the matured productions of au- 
tumn; remarking the numberless instances of 
transcendent skill, ingenuity, and benevolence, 
displayed in every part of creation ; selecting 
and combining their various beauties by the aid 
of fancy ; strengthening and invigorating his rea- 
soning faculties, by meditating on the wonders 
that every where surround him ; and from such 
pursuits deriving additional motives for ac- 
quiescing in the divine dispensations, and ful- 
filling the duties of that station in which the 
author of such stupendous works has been 
pleased to place him. Nothing will contribute 
more to produce these effects, than the study 
of the best poets. Although their enthusiasm 
has led them to ascribe powers to nature which 
she never possessed, they are best capable of 
developing her intrinsic beauties. Ever observant 
of those nice discriminations which more pecu- 
liarly manifest the hand of a master, their remarks 
are generally combined with the purest morality. 
In the Seasons of Thomson, or the Task of Cow- 
per, the reader will find his attention directed to 
many beauties, which, without such assistance, 
had in all probability escaped his notice ; and 
the moral lessons which they are calculated to 


convey, are, in these works, pointed out and 
enforced in the most pleasing and energetic 

Besides this cultivation of the mind, however, 
something else is necessary to give even the most 
enchanting scenery its proper zest. The passions 
must be regulated, and kept in due subjection. 
Wherever this is not done, the landscape will ex- 
hibit its charms in vain ; or if they should forcibly 
attract notice, the impression they make will only 
be momentary. — Ovid, in one of his epistles, has 
introduced a lover, lamenting his folly in hoping 
to find relief from a change of scenery, while the 
dart that wounded him still rankled in his bosom. 
This remark is still more applicable to the malevo- 
lent passions. To him who is sickening with envy, 
every opening grace will only convey additional 
torment; especially when he reflects, that the 
charms which press themselves upon his attention, 
are equally open to the inspection of a hated 
rival. The ambitious man, whose heart is perpe- 
tually panting after honours and distinctions, 
would be unhappy although surrounded by Arca- 
dian scenery, or even placed in Elysium itself. The 
music of birds, the crystal rill, the gale embued 
with Arabian fragrance, will be found ineffectual 
to sooth the pangs of remorse, to silence the up- 
braidings of conscience, or alleviate the anguish of 


despair. In proportion as the path of virtue is 
deserted, nature will appear bereft of her charms ; 
and the recollection of that pleasure which the con- 
templation of them yielded in the hours of inno- 
cence, will continually aggravate those harrassing 
sensations attendant on a consciousness of guilt. 
My readers, I trust, will not accuse me of assu- 
ming an unsuitable degree of seriousness, if, in 
addition to what has already been said, I beg leave 
to recommend to their notice, the precept of our 
excellent Cowper, — 

Acquaint thyself with God, if thou would'st taste 
His works. 

With a few lines from the same poet, expressive 
of the advantages which such a mode of conduct 
will ensure to the person who adopts it, I shall 
conclude the present paper : — 

He looks abroad into the varied field 
Of nature, and, though poor perhaps, compar'd 
"With those whose mansions glitter in his sight, 
Calls the delightful scen'ry all his own. 
His are the mountains, and the vallies his, 
And the resplendent rivers. His t'enjoy 
"With a propriety that none can feel, 
But who, with filial confidence inspired, 
Can lift to heaven an unpresumptuous eye, 
And smiling say — " My Father made them all !" 

Task,— Book T r . 



When female cheeks refuse to glow, 
Farewell to virtue here below! Cotton. 

To the Inspector. 

Sir, — Your functions as an Inspector, I trust, 
are not confined merely to observing the manners 
and behaviour of mankind, but have also a view to 
the distribution of that applause or censure which 
their conduct deserves at the hand of impartiality. 
I call upon you, therefore, for your animadver- 
sions on a prevalent evil, by which myself and 
many others have frequently been incommoded. 

I am a young woman, Mr. Inspector, and in 
consequence of my rank and situation in life, am 
entitled to some little respect. My fortune ena- 
bles me to dress up to the fashion, and also to at- 
tend most of those public places whither the genteel 
part of the community resort. Except a lively flow 
of spirits, the consequence of youth and health, 
but which some few censorious people are pleased 
to term levity, my character, I trust, is irreproach- 
able ; and I hope you will not accuse me of vanity, 
if I tell you, that there are not wanting persons to 
inform me that I am both beautiful and accom- 
plished. To you, Sir, who are doubtless well ac- 
quainted with the female heart, it would appear 


affectation to deny, that the homage which is paid 
to me, on these accounts, is not altogether un- 

For some time, however, Mr. Inspector, I have 
been pestered by the attention of certain characters, 
for whom I know not where to find a more appro- 
priate name than that of Starers. These persons 
apparently place their whole delight in gazing 
young women like myself out of countenance. If 
by their impudence they can raise a blush upon our 
cheeks, they seem to consider it as a trophy of 
honour. For this purpose, the face of eveiy one 
they meet is scrutinized as keenly as Don Quixote 
and Sancho Panza scrutinized the faces of passen- 
gers, when in quest of the disenchanted Dulcinea 
del Toboso. At the theatre, the assembly-room, in 
our walks, or even at the church itself, the same 
reason for complaint exists. Could we suppose, 
Mr. Inspector, that this behaviour was adopted 
in consequence of any esteem or regard which the 
gentlemen entertained for us, we might probably 
be induced to view it with greater lenity, but there 
seems little reason for such a supposition. Will 
you have the goodness to write a paper against this 
shameful practice, for which I dare say you will 
receive the thanks of all my sex, but in particular 
those of Sir, yours, &c. 



The grievance my fair correspondent complains 
of, is not of recent origin. The Spectator has in- 
formed us that a set ofStarers existed in his time; a 
circumstance of which she appears to be ignorant. 
An evil, however, is not the less pernicious be- 
cause it has the plea of antiquity on its side : and I 
perfectly agree with Priscilla, in thinking beha- 
viour, similar to that she has noticed, deserving of 
the severest animadversions. I am likewise of her 
opinion, that it does not proceed from any consi- 
derations of merit, or even from any admiration of 
personal charms in the object; because they who 
are guilty of such a breach of decorum, are generally 
insensible to any merit or charms, save what they 
fancy themselves to possess. Perhaps the con- 
duct of such persons may, in a great measure, be 
attributed to that proscription of every thing like 
shame-facedness and modesty, which our present 
systems of education inculcate. Our youths may 
wish to shew that they have shaken off the restraint 
of these antiquated qualities ; and indeed candour 
must oblige us to confess, that nothing could tend 
more effectually to confirm this opinion than the 
allegations brought forward by my correspondent. 
An ingenious friend of mine, has indeed accounted 
for the effect in another manner. It is ascertained, 
that those who so assiduously seek to raise a blush 
upon the cheek of innocence, are generally such as 


have long since ceased to blush themselves. He 
therefore concludes, that these persons are ani- 
mated by a principle nearly similar to that of the 
American savages, who believe that the good 
qualities of a conquered enemy will infallibly fall 
to the lot of the conqueror ; and consequently sup- 
poses, that the Starers consider every blush which 
they are happy enough to raise, as conveying to 
them the accomplishments of the person against 
whom the artillery of their eyes is directed. If 
my friend's conjecture is right, it will give me a 
more favourable opinion of the Starers; since their 
conduct must then be considered as occasioned by 
a consciousness of their want of modesty and 
virtue : — qualifications, indeed, for which few 
persons will be inclined to give them credit. 

But though the sentiments I entertain of these 
gentlemen are not more friendly than those of Pris- 
cilla herself, I must beg leave to observe, that until 
I receive some further explanation of her letter, I 
shall not totally acquit her of having invited that 
observation against which she so pointedly ex- 
claims. She confesses, that she commonly dresses 
up to the fashion. — Now, although a very laudable 
object of female dress is undoubtedly to attract the 
attention of the other sex, yet it will surely be no 
crime to observe, that, judging from appearances, 
this object has of late been carried to an unac- 


countable length. Females of a certain description 
have usually been distinguished by the wantonness 
and indecorum of their dress ; and if ladies of a 
totally opposite character should imitate their 
example in this respect, gentlemen may feel it in- 
cumbent on them to use their eyes a little more 
freely, lest they should be deceived by appear- 
ances, and, from the want of proper care, fall into 
disagreeable predicaments. When that occa- 
sional, though it may be esteemed innocent, levity 
of manners, spoken of by Priscilla, is also taken 
into consideration, it may probably incline her to 
treat the staring tribe with less asperity, and a 
little larger portion of charity, than her letter 

In order to take away every shadow of justi- 
fication from the Starers, I would therefore advise 
all my fair readers to be cautious lest they overstep 
the bounds of decency in dress, and of propriety 
in conduct. So careful was Caesar over the honour 
of his wife, that he divorced her, because Clodius 
was known to entertain a passion for her, al- 
though no proofs of her criminality appeared ; 
alleging as a reason for his conduct, that the wife 
of Caesar ought not to be suspected. I would 
likewise guard our British females against even 
the breath of suspicion. I would wish them con- 
tinually to remember, that they possess such a 


powerful influence over the other sex, as, when 
properly exerted, will generally secure them from 
the insults of even the most impudent and aban- 
doned. While the ladies act with a proper 
regard to themselves and the interests of society, 
with which their conduct is so intimately con- 
nected, so long shall the Inspector be proud 
to stand forward as their advocate and defender ; 
and even — if his natural modesty will permit, and 
the necessity of the case require it — to out-stare 
the Starers in their behalf. 

In issuing my edict against this worshipful 
fraternity, I shall beg leave, however, lest any 
misconception should arise, to insert a saving 
clause for the preservation of my Inspectorial 
rights. This is the more necessary, since it is 
no easy task to ascertain the thoughts of ladies 
from a cursory glance at their features : and as 
the multiplicity of objects that call for my inspec- 
tion, may probably, in the course of a century or 
two, render me less quick sighted than I am at 
present, I would wish to guard against the esta- 
blishment of a general rule, which might be 
construed to my prejudice, and thus eventually 
injure the interests of the community. If, there- 
fore, I should at any time be accused of too close 
and too attentive an inspection of my fair country- 
women, let them consider me as only eager to 


qualify myself for the office I have assumed ; let 
them rest assured, that the privileges I claim, 
shall never be exerted for the gratification of idle 
curiosity, but always be rendered, as far as pos- 
sible, subservient to the general welfare. 

To the Inspector. 

Sir, — If it is consistent with your plan to notice 
local grievances, I shall be much obliged by your 
inserting the following letter : — 

Every person acquainted with Hull must have 
observed, that during the prevalence of wet 
weather, and indeed at other times, the military 
are frequently not only paraded upon the flagged 
part of the streets, whereby passengers have been 
seriously incommoded, but that, when marching 
along the streets, particularly on a Sunday, every 
person, of whatever description, has been driven 
off the flags, and forced upon the pavement. 
Being a married man, Mr. Inspector, my wife 
and children have often, in this manner, been 
obliged to traverse through the dirt, or otherwise 
perhaps to wait a considerable time, until the 
procession had passed. The same disagreeable 
circumstances have occurred, various times, to 


several other ladies in my sight, and I have oiten 
heard the evil complained of, although it has 
never been held up to public notice. 

In thus addressing you, I would beg leave to 
observe, that no man is more sensible than my- 
self of the merits of that class of our fellow 
citizens to whom this letter alludes ; nor is there 
any person who would submit to any privations 
or inconveniences for their accommodation, with 
greater pleasure. The ladies, I dare answer for 
them, are in general actuated by similar senti- 
ments. A polite attention to the female sex, 
however, has always been deemed one of the 
characteristics of a truly martial spirit, from the 
age of chivalry, down to the present day. Trust- 
ing that this hint, through the medium of the 
Inspector, will produce the desired effect, 
I remain, Sir, 

Yours, &c. 




Parent of hope ! immortal truth ! make known 
Thy deathless wreaths, and triumphs all thine own ! 
The silent progress of thy power is such, 
Thy means so feeble and despis'd so much, 
That few believe the wonders thou hast wrought, 
And none can teach them, but whom thou hast taught. 


The following communication has reference 
to a subject, which, at the commencement of my 
periodical career, I had determined to exclude from 
the number of those topics the Inspector was in- 
tended to embrace. As this epistle, however, 
may be acceptable to several of my readers, I 
shall make no apology for publishing it. For 
my own part, I am afraid it will be less at- 
tended to than those compositions to which 
the first paragraph of it alludes; since a little 
observation will suffice to shew, that mankind 
are far more eager to procure relief from bodily 
than from mental evils. My publishers will 
probably be of the same opinion as to its re- 
ception, though for a different reason, — because the 
insertion of it has not been paid for. However, 
as every reader must be convinced, that any 
want of efficacy on that account, cannot be con- 



sidered as either their fault or mine, I shall 
proceed to insert it without further comment. 

To the Inspector. 

Sir,— That disorders of the mind are more 
calamitous than those of the body, and require 
greater skill in order to effect a radical cure, is 
generally acknowledged ; and hence the physi- 
cian who is capable of removing or alleviating 
the former, seems more entitled to public gra- 
titude than he whose efforts are confined solely 
to procure relief from the latter. On this ground 
I rest my claim to notice. As the publication in 
which your papers appear, frequently contains 
communications from persons who undertake to 
cure the various complaints incident to the human 
frame, be so kind as to allot a small space to one, 
whose principal aim is, to remedy the effects 
of mental obliquity and disease. 

In soliciting attention to any subject of 
this nature, protestations of a disinterested 
regard to the welfare of society, form so com- 
mon and so suspicious a mode of introduction, 
that I shall not adopt it on the present oc- 
casion. Neither shall I here attempt to lay 
down the symptoms or prognostics of those evils 
which I profess to cure, since most persons are 


already acquainted with these particulars ; and 
they who have not attained that knowledge, will, 
after perusing this letter, be at no loss where to 
resort for further instruction. 

To recount the different species, and the la- 
mentable consequences of those mental affections, 
for which it is my object to provide a remedy, 
would be to write a history of the world. Over 
all the discordant passions whieh agitate the 
human breast, my influence extends; and al- 
though I may not be empowered to eradicate, I 
am capable of restraining them within proper 
bounds. The heart that once swelled with a 
degree of ambition, equal to that which actuated 
Caesar, has learned of me to find contentment 
in a situation lowly as that of an anchorite. 
The sensual disciple of Epicurus has been brought 
to surpass even Cato in temperance ; and the 
haughty impetuosity of another Achilles has 
given way to meekness and equanimity of temper, 
greater than that of Socrates. Those ferocious 
and brutal traits which marked the human cha- 
racter, in climes where my power was formerly 
unknown, have now been gradually succeeded 
by amenity of manners ; and nations that ac- 
counted each other as barbarians, unfit to enjoy 
the light of heaven, are now linked in bonds of 
amity, and taught to consider themselves equally 


the children of one Divine Being. From me, 
numbers have acquired resolution to despise con- 
tempt and shame, rather than deviate from the 
path of duty ; and have even rejoiced in the midst 
of trials, at which Roman fortitude had recoiled, 
and sought relief from the dagger or the bowl. 
By my aid, the proud have been brought to 
exercise humility ; the envious to discard envy : 
rancour has been succeeded by forgiveness ; and 
hatred by brotherly kindness and affection. 

One distinguishing characteristic which I pos- 
sess is, that my favours are dispensed without 
fee or reward ; and in general more freely among 
those who are commonly considered as least 
entitled to notice. To the abject, the needy, the 
afflicted, who collectively form a large portion 
of every community, I am capable of rendering 
such assistance as will place them in a state far 
surpassing that of those who are strangers to me, 
although otherwise held in higher estimation by 
the world. My influence can confer happiness, 
even where haggard poverty is an inmate, and 
clothe with the smiles of complacency those 
features wherein disease and death are intrenched. 
The discovery of that wonderful elixir, which is 
supposed to possess the property of transmuting 
the baser metals into gold, and of yielding a 
life-restoring cordial of transcendent efficacy, has, 


for many ages, engaged the alchymist in labo- 
rious and fruitless researches. What that elixir 
is fabled to effect in the chemical, I am able to 
realize in the moral world. Afflictions at my 
touch change their nature, and are converted into 
blessings ; while the medicines which I administer 
cheer and revive the fainting soul, and give rise 
to feelings of hope, of triumph, and exultation, 
under circumstances which would otherwise in- 
duce consternation and despair. 

I have already said, that affections of the mind 
are more peculiarly in my province than those of 
the body. Formerly indeed, the latter have 
been miraculously cured through my means ; but 
at present I do not pretend to possess any power 
over them, unless in cases where they are in some 
measure dependent upon the former. Yet, as it 
is a maxim with the enlightened philosopher, 
that the prevention of an evil is better than a cure, 
my claims to consideration will, even in this point 
of view, be found deserving of attention. Were 
my suggestions generally adhered to in practice, 
mankind would be preserved from many of those 
dreadful maladies which are commissioned to 
punish, even in this life, the votaries of intem- 
perance and licentiousness. If the latent seeds 
of disease could not be totally eradicated, the 
lenitives I offer would cause the pangs of it to 


be less frequently, less severely felt. Affliction 
would be tempered with resignation. The gra- 
dual decay of nature, unaccompanied with acute 
sensations of pain, would divest the closing- 
scenes of life of many of their terrors, and cause 
death to appear only as a welcome messenger, 
whose assistance was necessary to usher mortals 
into " another and a better world." 

Were confidence to be merited by respectability 
of credentials or authenticated proofs of pre-emi- 
nent ability and beneficence, my qualifications 
of this nature might confidently be adduced in 
opposition to the pretensions of any competitor. 
In the earliest period of time, I received my 
commission from divine authority, and to my pre- 
cepts mankind were commanded to pay implicit 
obedience ; but a speedy deviation therefrom, in- 
troduced a complication of evils into the world, 
some of which it is not in my power totally to 
extirpate. Whenever the regimen I laid down 
was attended to, a state of convalescence suc- 
ceeded. Recovered strength, however, in that, 
as in every subsequent age, was in general only 
the signal for commencing a fresh career of 
intemperance; and notwithstanding almost the 
whole of mankind were swept at once from the 
earth, as a just punishment for slighting my 
dictates, yet succeeding generations were 


equally as disobedient as their predecessors. 
To counteract the growing evil more effectually, 
my mission was now renewed and attested 
by tremendous signs ; and although confined, in 
a more especial manner, to one part of the world, 
its beneficial tendency was experienced by thou- 
sands, who rejoiced under it, and have left upon 
record testimonials of those happy effects which 
it produced in their own lives and conduct. By 
degrees, their testimony and my advice were again 
discarded, for the pursuit of folly and the grati- 
fication of vicious propensities. Punishment 
repeatedly succeeded these continued instances of 
disobedience, but was as frequently forgotten. 
Again I received a new manifestation from 
Heaven; my powers were enlarged, and their 
sphere of action extended over the globe. In 
every quarter my influence was felt, and acknow- 
ledged to be the choicest boon which could have 
been bestowed on mankind. Various cir- 
cumstances, however, have at different periods 
been permitted to arrest, in a certain degree, 
the universal diffusion of the benefits flowing 
from my sway, but, in the eye of reason and im- 
partiality, the blessings I have already produced 
can never be sufficiently appreciated. 

If those persons who profess to relieve bodily 
diseases, are justified in complaining of the 


obstacles they have to encounter, arising from 
prejudice or imposture, the injury which I have 
sustained, from the prevalence of these, is 
incomparably greater. Almost every species of 
crime that has infested the world, some one or 
other of my enemies has attributed to me. I have 
been accused of raising terrible persecutions, in 
which oceans of blood have flowed ; of breaking 
the dearest bonds of society; of exciting dissensions 
in families, and causing the child to betray the 
parent, and the wife her husband ; of producing 
melancholy, insanity, and despair ; although one 
of my principal objects has ever been to extirpate 
these evils, as a reference to the precepts which I 
have laid down for the government of my votaries 
will sufficiently evince. Indeed the impartial 
inquirer must be convinced, that the horrid con- 
sequences above enumerated and laid to my 
charge, are the work of deceivers who have 
assumed my name, and of whose crimes I am 
completely innocent. It is some consolation, 
however, to reflect, that a time is promised and 
will speedily arrive, when these misrepresenta- 
tions shall all be done away. My influence shall 
then be established on an immovable basis, and 
falsehood and imposture no longer usurp the 

place of true 




Praise undeserv'd is satire in disguise. Pope, 

Whatever reasons men may fancy they have 
for cherishing a spirit of resentment or animo- 
sity against any of their contemporaries, such 
feelings commonly subside when the objects of 
them have paid the debt of nature. There is 
something of an humanizing tendency in those 
solemn reflections which the consideration of our 
mortality is calculated to inspire, and which in- 
cline us to examine with a less scrutinizing eye, 
failings, that under other circumstances had pro- 
duced very different sensations. Many of the 
exciting causes of envy or malevolence have then 
ceased to exist. A sympathizing sense of the 
hapless condition of those who were lately our 
rivals, joined with the knowledge that, ere long, 
we must be placed in a similar situation, disposes 
us rather to 

" Seek their merits to disclose — " 


" Draw their frailties from their dread abode." 

Such conduct, and such sentiments, are indeed 
an honour to human nature. But if they appear 
justly entitled to our approbation, when flowing 
spontaneously from minds that formerly had few 



enjoyments in common with the deceased, cold 
and unfeeling must that heart be, which, on si- 
milar melancholy occasions, will not make some 
allowances for the partiality of friendship and the 
overflowings of affection. When the ties that 
connected us most closely with the world are 
severed by the death of our dearest friends, their 
errors and foibles, inseparable from a state of 
humanity, are either forgotten, or remembered 
only with sentiments of compassion ; while on 
the other hand, 

" busy meddling memory 

In barbarous succession musters up 

The past endearments of our happier hours, 

Tenacious of its theme." — Blair. 

It is undoubtedly owing in a great measure to 
the operation of these causes, that the friends of 
those who have been snatched away by death, are 
so anxious to convey to the world a favourable 
opinion of their characters. In some cases, 
however, other motives, originating in sources of 
a less honourable nature, may, perhaps with equal 
truth, be assigned for this peculiar disposition. 
The possession of one good quality, although 
evidently more the result of natural constitution 
than cultivation, or the practice of one single 
virtue, from which neither situation, opportunity, 
nor bodily temperament ever offered a plausible 


temptation to deviate, may be ostentatiously- 
brought forward as a counterpoise to qualities or 
vices of a different kind, and which are care- 
fully withheld from public notice. Among the 
most abandoned of mankind, few will be found 
who could wish to see those persons they most 
esteem plunged into the same vicious career with 
themselves. The libertine, whose principal gra- 
tification is found in inflicting disgrace and 
infamy upon the families of others, is, in general, 
exquisitely sensible to the slightest attack of a 
similar nature upon the honour of his own. From 
these considerations a reason may be deduced, 
why individuals, who themselves appear to have 
discarded all pretensions to the approbation of 
society, are yet anxious to secure a portion of it to 
their deceased relatives and friends. 

On the other hand, they who strictly adhere to 
the paths of propriety and virtue, are apt to con- 
sider their own characters as implicated in some 
degree in the misconduct of those connected with 
them through the ties of blood or friendship ; and 
consequently are stimulated to remove, as far 
as possible, those stains upon the memories 
of others, which might ultimately affect their own 
reputation. To this cause, perhaps, we must 
partly attribute those softening touches, those 
fine shades in the portraits of deceased friends, 


upon which men of acknowledged veracity and 
candour have sometimes condescended to employ 
their pencils. Even here, the stern moralist may 
probably find some reason to mitigate the severity 
of censure; since the public usefulness of 
many exemplary characters is often injured by 
an indiscriminate ascription to them of the vices 
and failings of their relations. It may also be 
observed, that although, the "good and bad alike 
are fond of fame" as Pope justly alleges, yet it 
must be considered as a tacit acknowledgment 
of the inherent dignity of virtue, when the highest 
commendation which even vicious men can bestow 
upon their friends is, that they have excelled in 
the pursuit and practice of it. 

In an early period of history, it had become 
customary to perpetuate, by monumental inscrip- 
tions, the memory of those who had deserved 
well of society; for which purpose the most 
durable materials were selected, as brass and 
marble. The difficulty and expense attending 
this method long confined it to a small number, 
to whom such memorials of respect were raised 
by the contributions of their grateful countiymen. 
In process of time, it was found that these 
honours, which were at first intended to operate 
as a reward for praise- worthy actions, and as a 
stimulus to aspiring virtue, were afterwards 


prostituted to the service of those, and those 
alone, who had amassed wealth enough to pur- 
chase their erection; whilst poverty, however 
dignified by worth or talents, could not hope to 
attain such marks of distinction. By the inven- 
tion of printing, and particularly of newspapers, 
greater facility of circulation has been given to 
panegyrics upon the dead in modern times ; and 
almost every person, however low his circum- 
stances and situation in life, may now hope to be 
once at least held out to public notice for his vir- 
tues, if he really possess any. It is a disadvan- 
tage, however, to which these repositories of 
knowledge are subject, in common with more 
voluminous publications, that interest and influ- 
ence may sometimes procure the insertion of 
eulogies to which Truth has not affixed her im- 
primatur. Philosophers have often commended 
a custom prevalent among the ancient Egyptians, 
who, on the death of their monarchs, ordered a 
strict scrutiny to be made into their past lives 
and conduct. If this investigation proved favou- 
rable to the character of the deceased, he was 
interred with the highest honours. If, on the 
contrary, the decision was unfavourable, those 
honours were refused to his remains ; and this was 
considered as a mark of indelible disgrace. Such 
a regulation, operating on the mind by the most 


powerful motives, could scarcely fail to produce 
incalculable advantages to society; and it is 
much to be wished, that a similar investigation, 
conducted with the utmost candour and impar- 
tiality, could be instituted in these times, before 
any deceased person should be allowed the pri- 
vilege of an eulogium in a public newspaper. 

These reflections have been excited by the fol- 
lowing letter of a correspondent, who justly 
observes, that by giving to vice that praise which 
is the proper meed of virtue, one powerful 
incentive to the latter is destroyed. But I hasten 
to lay his letter before my readers : — 

To the Inspector. 

Sir, — On casting my eyes over the rnostgloomy 
and sorrowful corner of our newspapers, I mean 
the obituary, I always feel a sensation which I 
don't know how to describe ; a reverential regard 
for the dead, therein recorded, mixed with a tinge 
of drollery at the manner in which such events 
are frequently notified. For instance, when I 
read of the death of a man whom I have known 
to be a dram drinker for twenty years past, and 
whose liver has been baked as hard as a ship 
biscuit — I mourn ; but when, in the line immedi- 
ately following, I observe him lamented as a most 
respectable, worthy, and upright character, / 


laugh — not at the fate of the man, but at the folly 
of pitching upon such an absurd method of in- 
sulting his memory. In the same way, I might 
enumerate many other characters, whose lives 
were certainly not exemplary, but whose fame 
is extolled by panegyrics equally as ridiculous. 

" De mortuis nil nisi bonum /" If you can't 
speak well of the dead, say nothing about them. 
It therefore pleased me very much, when, a short 
time ago, I saw an account of the death of an 
attorney, stating merely his name and age ; and, 
without any remark, leaving him to his repose. 
Now that teas right. Not that I would have men 
of exemplary piety, extraordinary talents, or 
heroic valour, slipped into the silent grave, with- 
out a just and an honest tribute of respect paid to 
their memories. A proper reverence for the ashes 
of such people, tends to excite in the living a 
laudable ambition to imitate their excellencies ; 
but to bestow praises which belong only to the 
great and good, upon the common herd of mor- 
tals, is levelling at once the distinction between 
virtue and vice. I believe there is a natural 
vanity in the mind of man, which sticks to his 
last sand, and prompts him to " leave a longing 
lingering wish behind/* that his name may not 
only be remembered, but approved of, by pos- 
terity. Now in order to obtain that posthumous 


fame, let him be assured, that whilst living he must 
do something to deserve it. But if a person of 
irregular life, or a tame, dull, insipid being, with- 
out perhaps a shade of character to mark him 
whilst living, receives the same flourishing enco- 
miums which belong only to mortals of a higher 
class, the ardour of honest ambition is checked ; 
because a man has only to read such an account 
to be convinced, that, let him live as he may, he 
will be applauded at last. 

Were I the publisher of a newspaper, I would 
give characteristic distinctions, something in this 
way. If a brewer happened to die, I would say, he 
was of a mild temper, and brewed mild ale. A shoe- 
maker's death might be announced thus, — he was 
an industrious man, made all his ends meet, and 
stuck to his work to the last. A banker might be 
renowned for never having dishonoured his draft. 
A baker, butcher, or grocer, for having given good 
weighty and so on. And if any of them should 
not have been remarkable for such virtues, then 
say — nothing about 'em. On the death of a fish- 
wife, I would observe, — that she whose tongue 
was once as glib as an eel, is now as mute as a 
fish, and lies n&flat as a flounder. 

If you should approve of these sketches, I shall 
beg you to inform all editors, printers, and pub- 
lishers of newspapers, that I can furnish them 


with a variety of others, properly adapted for all 
the ordinary occasions that may occur ; the ex- 
traordinary cases may furnish matter for the 
funeral orations of the eloquent divine, or for the 
elegant pen of the Inspector. 

I am, Sir, &c. &c. 

David Dulbarb. 

In addition to the observations of my humo- 
rous correspondent, I shall only say, that — not- 
withstanding the allowances which candour 
ought always to make on the score of friendship 
and affection — whenever deceased persons are 
praised for qualifications they never had, some 
one or other will consider it as a fit opportunity 
to detract from those they actually possessed; 
that when others are extolled for virtues they 
never practised, it will only serve to recall their 
vices more strongly to remembrance ; that every 
child, consort, or friend, is not viewed by the world 
with the eyes of parental kindness, conjugal 
affection, or friendship ; in short, that although 
no panegyric can be sufficiently great, no lamen- 
tation too mournful, for characters of a certain 
description, there are many others to whom the 
highest tribute of respect that can possibly be 
paid is — to let them sink quietly into oblivion. 


With regard to my correspondent, if he really 
belong to the respectable family whose signa- 
ture he has assumed, I do not hesitate to class 
him among the most intelligent members of it ; 
and I seize this opportunity of saying so, while 
he is yet alive, lest afterwards I should be con- 
sidered as guilty of the fault against which his 
letter is directed. That none of my friends may 
be laid under a similar imputation on my account, 
and as a proof that I have reaped some advan- 
tage from his communication, I think it will not 
be improper to compose a paragraph against my 
own demise. One of my predecessors, in a like 
situation, contented himself with hinting as his 
last wish, that his monument should only signify 
" he was the deepest philosopher, the wittiest 
writer, and the greatest man of that age or 
nation." As I am not vain enough to imagine 
that I am equal to Mr. Adam Fitz-Adam in abi- 
lities, so I have not ambition to aspire to quite 
so high an eulogium. Unless my friend Dulbard 
would favour the Editor of the Hull Advertiser 
with one of his characteristic panegyrics, I would 
merely request to have it said of me, "that he 
fulfilled the office of an Inspector with credit to 
himself and benefit to the public ; and that his 
virtues were equal, and his writings not inferior, 
to those of any of his predecessors." 



It is a hungry vice :— it eats up all 
That gives society its beauty, strength, 
Convenience, and security, and use. — Cowper^ 

Since the commencement of the French Revo- 
lution, the rights of mankind have formed a prin- 
cipal topic of conversation and study. At one 
period, every village and every petty club had its 
orators, who condescended to enlighten the minds 
of their contemporaries, on this important sub- 
ject. I do not intend to controvert the propriety 
or advantages of such discussions, but it may, 
perhaps, be allowable to observe, that even in the 
minds of many friends to the rights of men, the 
doctrine has frequently been perverted. That 
many of the evils which overspread France, at the 
era of the revolution, arose from the inadequate 
conceptions which the people were led to enter- 
tain of their political rights, appears too evident 
to admit of a dispute. Emerged from what they 
had learned to regard as a state of the greatest 
slavery, into a state of liberty, and buoyed up 
with enthusiastic notions of their political free- 
dom and equality, they considered themselves 
authorized to follow, in almost every respect the 


bent of their inclinations. In thinking of their 
rights, they forgot their duties. The effects pro- 
duced by such conduct have been written in let- 
ters of blood, and afford a memento which cannot 
fail to make a deep impression on every feeling 
and reflecting mind. 

The good sense, and less frivolous dispositions, 
of my countrymen, will, I trust, lead them to 
draw a proper lesson from this awful example, 
and teach them to cherish with assiduity and 
jealous solicitude, that rational liberty which 
distinguishes our happy island. My object, at 
present, is to shew, that conduct similar to that 
above-described, is in smaller societies productive 
of consequences less dreadful indeed, but highly 
prejudicial to human happiness. Whether the 
political opinions of my countrymen have had 
any influence upon their general behaviour, I 
shall not here inquire ; but certainly many evils 
in private life, may be traced to the same parti- 
ality to rights, in preference to duties, which has 
been noticed as producing such pernicious effects 
in the case of France. Nor does this mode of 
illustration appear undeserving of some degree of 
attention. From an accurate observation of the 
fate of empires, important precepts for the regu- 
lation of lesser communities, may oftentimes be 
fairly deduced. The Iliad of Homer is supposed 


by some critics to have been written with a de- 
sign of exhibiting to the discordant States of 
Greece, a faithful picture of the consequences 
arising from disunion ; yet the scenes which are 
displayed in that inimitable performance, and 
the moral it inculcates, are equally proper for the 
contemplation and instruction of individuals and 
families, in a private point of view. 

Such is the constitution of human nature, that 
whenever our rights occupy the chief place in our 
consideration, our duties are too frequently dis- 
regarded. There is a spirit of domination inhe- 
rent in the mind, which will not easily brook 
constraint, nor willingly submit to those restric- 
tions which a state of society requires ; especially 
if this spirit be cherished by a frequent contem- 
plation of what is due to us from others, without 
a proper recollection of their reciprocal claims. 
An example or two may probably place this 
subject in a stronger point of view ; and while 
they shew the consequences of the evil, afford 
some light as to the proper remedy. 

Attalus is a man of considerable rank and for- 
tune, of acknowledged abilities, and general good 
character. He has acquired the reputation of 
possessing a feeling and benevolent heart, and 
seems ever ready to listen to the tale of wretched- 
ness, and equally inclined to bestow relief. The 


solicitations of distress convey to his mind an 
idea of that respect and homage to which his 
situation entitles him ; and it is owing more to 
this cause, than to a principle of benevolence 
and duty, that objects of pity experience his 
bounty. Those who do not ask it submissively, 
are never considered as deserving of it ; nor does 
he seek for opportunities of ascertaining and 
relieving the wants of those, whose feelings and 
situations render them averse to making their 
distress public, although possessing in general 
far stronger claims upon his humanity. While 
Attalus, however, is frequently extolled in the 
neighbourhood as a model of benevolence and 
kindness, his family are trembling at his pre- 
sence. His amiable wife, naturally of a timid 
disposition, is continually reminded, by his looks 
and carriage, of the obedience which she vowed 
at the altar ; while her own claims to that endear- 
ing courtesy, that reciprocal confidence, which 
form the basis of connubial happiness, are totally 
disregarded. From his children he exacts an 
implicit submission to all his dictates and ca- 
prices, — nor are the playful propensities of youth 
suffered to interfere, in the slightest degree, with 
his despotic will. His eldest son, on arriving at 
years of maturity, was compelled to embrace a 
profession to which his inclination and natural 


disposition rendered him habitually averse, in 
preference to one which both these had led him 
to choose ; and probably this is, in a great mea- 
sure, the reason why his affairs have turned out 
unprosperously, and that Attalus now sees him 
a bankrupt. His eldest daughter had formed an 
attachment to a young gentleman of acknow- 
ledged worth, and at one time a great favourite 
in the family ; but by some inadvertence, which 
was construed into disrespect, he had incurred 
the displeasure of Attalus, who consequently for- 
bade their union. Not content, however, with 
the exercise of a father's undoubted prerogative, 
in this respect, and regardless of the equally in- 
contestable rights of his daughter, who engaged 
never to marry without his consent, he obliged 
her to give her hand to a person whom she could 
not love ; and who has since used her with such 
brutality, that partly from this cause, and partly, 
perhaps, from the shock which her inclinations 
received from a forced marriage, she is now 
dying of a broken heart. 

The servants of Attalus are treated as beings 
who are bound to render him every exertion they 
are capable of making, while their claims to 
respect, lenity, or esteem, are never suffered to 
obtain a hearing. The whole of their time and 
their qualifications must be employed in his ser- 


vice, because he has purchased a right in them ; 
but they are not allowed to taste the sweets of 
necessary relaxation, the merited praise of faithful 
industry, or the pardon of any trivial and even 
involuntary fault. 

As a neighbour, the conduct of Attalus is con- 
sistent with the rest of his behaviour. He will 
not, on any account, forego a tittle of that con- 
sideration and respect, to which his wealth and 
rank in life entitle him. By means of his supe- 
rior education, he has obtained a greater profici- 
ency in some particular branches of knowledge, 
than his less intelligent neighbours : while, on 
the other hand, they are possessed of much prac- 
tical wisdom, in affairs whereof he is compara- 
tively ignorant, yet on which it is desirable for 
him to obtain information. This information he 
expects should be given him upon the slightest 
intimation, nay even upon the bare appearance 
of its being necessary ; yet when his own advice 
or assistance is wanted by his neighbours, it must 
be solicited with the utmost submission and 
respect, or he will deem himself under no obli- 
gation to impart it. 

The conduct of Floretta, though equally de- 
serving of animadversion, is less pernicious in its 
effects. Floretta is as much admired for the 
accomplishments of her mind as the beauties of 


her person. Few ladies, indeed, are better qua- 
lified for obtaining the universal suffrages of 
every company in their behalf ; yet too high an 
opinion of her own claims, and too low an esti- 
mate of those of others, contribute to lessen her 
consequence, and enlist many of her acquain- 
tance in the rolls of her concealed enemies. 

Intoxicated with that homage to which her vari- 
ous charms and accomplishments justly entitle 
her, Floretta is dissatisfied unless she alone en- 
grosses all observation and regard ; not reflect- 
ing, that where such an assemblage of graces is 
found, the utmost care of the possessor is requi- 
site, to conciliate the good will of associates who 
are sensible of their own inferiority. Her love of 
admiration, added to a consciousness of her own 
claims to notice, causes her to disregard the rules 
of modern politeness, and incites her to snatch 
from her less accomplished competitors, every 
opportunity of displaying their acquirements. 
Such conduct tends to excite a spirit of envy and 
detraction ; and has often been the means of 
plunging Floretta into troubles and vexations, 
from which a different behaviour would have 
entirely preserved her. 

These are only a few of the instances which 
might be adduced, wherein similar effects have 
been produced by the operation of the principle 


I am alluding to. A slight acquaintance with 
the world, a little self-examination, will, I am 
persuaded, convince most persons of the preva- 
lence of the evil, and the necessity for counter- 
acting it. What I have further to observe, on 
this subject, lies in a narrow compass. I would 
merely remind my readers, that, when inclined 
to exert their own rights, they ought to recollect 
that they have duties to perform, originating in 
the unquestionable rights of others. Upon the 
due adjustment of these claims, whether in a 
political or private point of view, the welfare and 
happiness of nations and individuals must, in a 
great measure, depend. He who will not, in 
order to obtain the good will of his contempora- 
ries, abate something from the rigour of those 
pretensions which self-love is ever ready to urge 
in its own behalf, must not expect to conciliate 
the regard of mankind. If he imitate the cha- 
racter of Attalus, like Attalus he may be feared 
by his wife and children, but will neither possess 
their affection nor their esteem. He may gratify 
his pride, by receiving the tokens of submission 
from those who supplicate his bounty ; but the 
silent blessings of those who, although plunged 
in distress, know not how to solicit or where to 
find relief) will seldom flow for his interposition ; 
nor can he expect to enjoy that heartfelt pleasure 


which the consciousness of having exerted him- 
self successfully in their behalf, is calculated to 
inspire. If he make an improper use of those 
rights with which he is invested as a father and 
master of a family, and pay no respect to the 
feelings and rights of his children, he will proba- 
bly find, when too late, that the plans which he 
adopted, though perhaps with a view to their 
happiness, have terminated in their misery as 
well as in his own. His dependents may do 
their duty by constraint ; but their services will 
manifest none of that alacrity which a courteous 
acknowledgment of their claims upon him would 
have produced. If, like Floretta, any persons 
are led to expect that they alone should engross 
the conversation and attention of every com- 
pany, let them remember, that such a want of 
deference for the rights of others, will lower 
their characters in the estimation of many, and 
make enemies of some, whose friendship might 
otherwise have been to them a most valuable 



Nobilitas sola Virtus, 

To paint vice in her true colours ; to exhibit 
virtue, as she really is, our only happiness ; and 
to illustrate their respective qualities by example, 
so as to improve and amend mankind, is alike 
the grand object of the Novelist, the Dramatist, 
and the Poet. Each of these enjoys peculiar 
advantages, and to each are presented peculiar 
obstacles to be overcome. Whilst the Novelist 
exerts his descriptive powers in the more humble 
walk of narration, and the Dramatist, catching 
" the living manners as they rise," presents our 
follies as it were embodied to our view, the Poet's 
magic art or melts the soul by strains of love, or, 
in our country's cause, with heroic ardour fires 
our breasts to conquer or to die. Many objec- 
tions have indeed been urged against novels, as 
injurious to the morals of their readers; and it is 
a lamentable fact, that by far the greater number 
of the ephemeral productions so called, are of 
the most despicable nature. The poison of infi- 
delity has, by their means, been disseminated 
among all classes of people ; and their baneful 
influence has extended itself over families, once 


the abode of happiness. Under the specious 
title of benevolence, the greatest irregularities 
are described ; and sensibility, that goddess of 
the idolatry of the present day, amply compen- 
sates for the grossest crimes. I would not be 
understood to pass an unlimited censure on 
novels ; there are many which deserve greater 
commendation than is in my power to bestow. 
But I may be allowed to say, that the best of 
them too frequently represent things otherwise 
than they really exist. When those who are 
brought up in a more humble station, see man- 
ners and habits of life depicted of which they 
were before ignorant, — and when it is considered 
that these habits are described with every advan- 
tage that language can afford — it is certainly not 
to be wondered at, if envy at the superior for- 
tune of others should obtain a lurking situation 
in their breasts. To this envy naturally succeeds 
a desire of imitating the objects represented, and 
an ambition to become of somewhat more im- 
portance in the eyes of the world. 

The love of distinction is, in a greater or less 
degree, an inmate of every bosom ; and although, 
in weak and frivolous minds, it may shew itself 
in such a manner as scarcely to be observed, or if 
observed, only with contempt, yet it does not there- 
fore cease to be that same passion, which, whether 


its object be laudable or no, is, in nobler minds, 
dignified with the name of ambition. It is truly 
ludicrous to observe the change which this foolish 
pride often produces in the sentiments and beha- 
viour of men, whom perhaps we have long known 
as useful members of society, in their respective 
situations. To be addressed as plain Mr. is an 
affront never to be overlooked ; whilst the title 
of Esquire seems to possess a magic influence 
over all who, having fortunately scraped together 
a few thousands, are determined to live like some- 
body. It is impossible to read the columns of 
our public prints, without being completely dis- 
gusted at the eternal repetition of this word, 
misapplied in almost every instance. If my 
grocer or linen-draper takes a wife unto himself, 
it is announced to the public that Benjamin 
Bohea, Esquire, was yesterday married to Miss 
Tripe, daughter of Timothy Tripe, Esquire — and 
it is not without some difficulty that I recognize, 
under his new title, the man whom I saw a few 
days before, up to the elbows in dirt, labouring 
in the duties of his calling. 

Should this ridiculous vanity gain much more 
ground, we may expect soon to see our taylors 
and shoemakers start upon us Esquires, self-cre- 
ated. All these men are highly useful in their 
vocations, but over-stepping the bounds which 


nature has prescribed, they expose themselves to 
the derision and contempt of those whose good 
sense teaches them to be content in their stations, 
and who are sensible of the propriety of the ad- 
vice — " Ne sutor ultra crepidam" Laughable as 
it is to see a man, prompted by vanity, thus 
expose himself, when he actually possesses • nei- 
ther talents nor endowments beyond what may 
enable him to live quietly in the circle wherein 
he is placed by nature, yet the consequences may 
prove of more importance than is generally ima- 
gined. The indiscriminate ascription of the title 
of Esquire — which legally belongs only to the 
sacred office of a Magistrate, and to some others 
which I shall not here enumerate — to persons of 
every description, does certainly tend to the 
destruction of civil order and society. Man is 
so constituted as to render equality impossible ; 
the visionary theory of a neighbouring nation 
has fallen to the ground, and completely demon- 
strated, that distinction of rank and mutual 
dependence are essentially necessary both to our 
private happiness and political existence. If 
my countrymen would but be content with 
those epithets of distinction to which they 
are justly entitled, their respectability would 
be placed on a firmer foundation, and the now- 
prostituted title of Esquire be restored to its 


rightful owners, whose conduct would, I doubt 
not, reflect a lustre on the power whose repre- 
sentatives they are. Let those whose petty am- 
bition soars above the appellation of an English 
merchant, remember, that virtue alone ennobles 
the soul ; and those who think wealth the sum- 
mum bonum of life, recollect, that 

" Worth makes the man, the want of it the fellow." 

I shall conclude this paper with the following 
history. Mercator was the only son of a repu- 
table retail tradesman in a corporate town in the 
north of England. At his father's death, he suc- 
ceeded to his business, and being honest in his 
dealings, and attentive to customers, he was gene- 
rally respected by his townsmen. With his first 
wife he enjoyed several years of domestic hap- 
piness, until she was separated from him by 
death, leaving him a widower with three chil- 
dren, in the prime of life. For some time, this 
loss was severely felt by him ; but meeting with 
a lady of considerable fortune, he was dazzled 
with her wealth, paid his addresses to her, and was 
married. The acquisition of riches proved the 
cause of his subsequent misfortunes. At the 
repeated importunities of his wife, he gave up 
his shop, embarked his property in shipping, of 
which he was totally ignorant, and commenced 


gentleman. In a short time after, he was elected 
to the magistracy of the town, — and intoxicated 
with pride at the addition of Esquire to his 
name, he forgot all his former acquaintance. 
But, whilst big with self-importance he disgusted 
all who knew him, intelligence was brought of 
the total loss of his most valuable ship. The 
news was too much for his already half-turned 
head to bear; he grew dejected at the reverse of 
fortune, and was one morning found hanging dead 
in his chamber, — an example of the ill effects of 
petty ambition in the middling stations of life. 




There be, perhaps, who barren hearts avow, 
Cold as the rocks on Torneo's hoary brow ; 
There be, whose loveless wisdom never fail'd. 
In self-adoring pride securely mail'd: — 
But triumph not, ye peace-enamoured few : 
Fire, Nature, Genius, never dwelt with you ! 
For you no fancy consecrates the scene, 
Wbe«e Rapture utter'd vows, and wept between ! 
And say without our hopes, without our fears, 
Without the home that plighted love endears, 
Without the smile from partial Beauty won, 
O ! what were man?— a World without a Sun ! 

Campbell's Pleasures of Hope. 


It is generally my custom, after the business 
of the day is concluded, to spend an hour or two 
in the perusal of some work, which, by forcibly 
engaging my attention, and affording matter for 
contemplation, may operate as an anodyne, in 
allaying the cares and agitations resulting from 
a close intercourse with the scenes of active life. 
Last evening, I happened to take up a volume of 
Plutarch, and opened upon that part wherein 
the regulations instituted at Sparta by the cele- 
brated Lycurgus, are detailed. I was particu- 


larly struck with the laws respecting celibacy, by 
which bachelors, after passing a certain age, were 
rendered liable to a prosecution for remaining 
unmarried ; and, at the command of the magis- 
trate, were compelled, in the depth of winter, to 
go naked round the streets of Sparta, singing a 
song in which themselves were held up to ridi- 
cule. Other measures of a similar nature were 
also adopted, calculated to render the nuptial 
state honourable, and throw the utmost odium 
upon those who appeared to condemn it, unless 
strong reasons could be alleged in justification of 
their conduct. 

Revolving in my mind the regulations of Ly- 
curgus, I was insensibly led to reflect upon the 
contrast which they formed with the opinions and 
practice of my countrymen ; and to this circum- 
stance it is undoubtedly owing, that after retiring 
to rest, I had a most singular dream, connected 
in some degree with the subject which had occu- 
pied my waking meditations. 

Methought I was placed in a large amphithe- 
atre, amidst a numerous concourse of spectators. 
On a seat elevated above the rest, sat a venerable 
old man, whose grey hairs, piercing looks, and 
dignified deportment, drew every eye upon him. 
In one part of the amphitheatre stood a crowd of 
persons, some of whom were of the number of my 


friends, and all of them past the meridian of life. 
An investigation of their conduct appeared about 
to commence ; and as I was convinced that seve- 
ral of those with whom I was acquainted were 
of an irreproachable moral character, I felt a de- 
gree of surprise at their situation that nearly 
overpowered me. On applying for information 
to a person who seemed from his actions to be an 
officer of the court, he told me in a few words, 
that the venerable personage above described, 
was the famous Lycurgus ; and that the crowd, 
in whose fate I had expressed so lively a concern, 
were of that description styled old bachelors, 
whom he was about to try for an offence so oppo- 
site to the spirit of those institutions which he 
had formerly established at Sparta. 

Whilst I was musing upon the singular nature 
of this tribunal, my meditations were interrupted 
by the annunciation of the name of one of my 
acquaintance, who, after the charge had been 
read against him pro forma, was interrogated as 
to what he could urge in his own defence. He 
began by acknowledging the justice of the accu- 
sation, but pleaded in extenuation, that the cares 
and vexations of a married life were such serious 
drawbacks upon human happiness, that he had 
hitherto, on this account, abstained from forming 
a matrimonial connexion ; that in these days of 


profligacy, it was difficult to perform in a faithful 
manner the duties of a parent, in consequence of 
the vicious habits imbibed by children in early 
youth, and the want of proper examples among 
those of riper years ; that the fretful, peevish, 
and capricious tempers, manifested by many 
wives of his acquaintance, had seriously disgusted 
him ; in short, that he considered the blessings 
which wedlock, under the most favourable cir- 
cumstances, was calculated to bestow, as a very 
inadequate recompence for the loss of those plea- 
sures attached to a single life. Such doctrines I 
could observe excited sentiments of indignation 
in the stern law-giver ; and he paused a short 
time, as if considering what punishment suffici- 
ently great could be inflicted upon the delin- 
quent. At length he enquired of the persons 
around him, what was the situation and charac- 
ter of this contemner of marriage ? and was in- 
formed, that he had for many years had a woman 
in keeping, who was an absolute tyrant over 
him, and of whose imperious temper he almost 
daily received manual proofs. She had borne 
him several children, over whose education she 
would not suffer him to exercise any controul, 
but encouraged them continually, both by pre- 
cept and example, to ridicule and despise him. 
Without waiting to hear any farther, Lycurgus 


adjudged him to remain in his present situation ; 
assigning as a reason, that he who despised the 
laws of his country, the kind attentions of a wife, 
and the tender endearments of lawful children, 
could not be more properly punished than by the 
despotism of a strumpet, and the contempt and 
reproaches of an illegitimate offspring. 

The next person put to the bar was a man 
whose squalid meagre look and tattered garb 
bespoke wretchedness in the extreme. He ap- 
peared to be upwards of sixty, although it was 
ascertained that he had not reached his fortieth 
year. Being called upon to state his reasons for 
continuing so long in a state of celibacy, he 
pleaded with great force of language and expres- 
sion of countenance, his utter inability to pro- 
cure those comforts and conveniences of life, 
which every person with whom he had conversed 
acknowledged to be indispensably necessary to 
connubial happiness. He complimented the 
judge, in very encomiastic terms, for introducing 
such a degree of abstemiousness and economy 
into Sparta ; and had only to complain, that he 
had not in this respect copied in their full extent 
the institutions of Minos, by which all the citi- 
zens of Crete, without distinction, were fed at the 
public expense. Above all he lamented that a 
similar regulation was not adopted in this coun- 


try ; since, in such a case, he might have partici- 
pated in those social enjoyments of which he 
was at present deprived by reason of his poverty. 
In conclusion he observed, that so far from being 
able to meet the growing expenses of a wife and 
family, he had not wherewithal to keep his own 
soul and body together. His wretched appear- 
ance, and plaintive manner, carried conviction 
of the truth of his affecting story to the heart of 
every spectator, and excited emotions of sympa- 
thy and compassion. Whilst every person there- 
fore expected that he should have been dismissed 
with a gentle reprimand, at the utmost, they 
were surprised to hear from one who had been 
twenty years in his service, and w r as obliged at 
last to leave it merely to prevent starvation, that 
from his arrival at manhood he had possessed a 
regular income of £500. a year, which, by his 
penurious practices, had now accumulated to ten 
times that sum. Lycurgus observed, that the 
man who voluntarily relinquished the choicest 
blessings of life for the sake of acquiring wealth, 
which he had not a heart to use, deserved to be 
expelled from society. He therefore ordered the 
present culprit to be placed in a state of total 
seclusion, exposed to the punishment which insa- 
tiable avarice, like the Promethean vulture, was 
unceasingly inflicting upon him. 


The attention of the court and spectators was 
now arrested by a tumultuous noise, which draw- 
ing nearer and nearer, occasioned a temporary 
delay in the proceedings. It was found to arise 
from a conflict between the officers of the court 
and a tall thin figure of a man, dressed in the 
extremity of the fashion. His cheeks, while in 
one part they shewed evident symptoms of the 
ravages of time, in another exhibited all the 
freshness of blooming youth. His eyes were sunk 
in their orbits, and his whole frame was emaci- 
ated. It appeared that the officers, having con- 
sidered him as falling within the description of 
those persons w r hose cases were then under consi- 
deration, had seized him when coming out of the 
play-house with a flaunting girl of sixteen, and 
hurried him before the tribunal. He repelled 
the charge with indignation, and repeatedly 
asserted with all the gesticulations of a youthful 
fop, that he was not more than thirty years of 
age. To corroborate this assertion, he called in 
his servant, a man apparently about sixty, — who 
affirmed that he believed it to be true, as he had 
heard his master swear it almost daily, ever since 
he had been in his service. On further enquiries 
however, this proved to have been upwards of 
twenty years. It also came out in evidence, that 
after having ruined his constitution by youthful 


debaucheries, this ancient beau had suddenly 
fallen in love, and was on the point of marriage 
with the young lady who was in company with 
him when he was seized ; and to the latter cir- 
cumstance, his rage on being accused as an old 
bachelor was evidently owing. However, since 
he was about to make the amende honorable for 
his previous attachment to celibacy, and perhaps 
also because Lycurgus thought the probable 
effects of such a match would be more than 
a sufficient chastisement for his former clespisal 
of marriage, he ordered him to be set at liberty. 

The next called upon was one who, from his 
appearance, could only be considered as having 
barely passed the limits assigned to the com- 
mencement of celibacy. In answer to the usual 
question, as to what he had to urge in his own 
behalf, he observed, that he was an unwilling 
culprit, and had exerted himself considerably to 
avoid being brought within the spirit of the de- 
cree by virtue of which he there stood accused. 
Of the institution of marriage he was a decided 
advocate ; and was fully convinced of the wisdom 
and ultimate advantage of a regulation which 
had for its object the increase of social happiness. 
Such a difference, however, existed between the 
institutions and manners of Sparta under the 
venerable law-giver whom he was addressing, and 



those which the present state of society in this 
country exhibited, as he hoped would afford some 
trifling plea in extenuation of his conduct. He 
had assiduously sought for a consort who would 
be willing to join with him in the practice of 
every social and domestic duty ; and contentedly 
share the pittance which a situation far from 
affluent afforded. But so much were the female 
world estranged from the performance of these 
duties, so completely engrossed by a taste for 
frirolous and expensive amusements, and so 
mercenary in their views, that he had hitherto 
been unsuccessful in his attempts. Upon these 
accounts, and taking into consideration the short 
time since he had attained the period at which 
celibacy commenced, as well as his sincere inten- 
tion to leave that state as soon as possible, he 
trusted he might be dismissed. In answer to this 
the judge observed, that his previous failures 
were probably owing, in a great measure, to his 
expecting to find a more copious assemblage of 
desirable qualifications in a consort, than fell to 
the lot of an individual ; or perhaps to mercenary 
motives on his own part. The reasons he had 
adduced in the close of his speech might per- 
haps have procured him his dismissal, had he not 
in a former part brought forward charges against 
the female sex in general, to which it was im- 


possible to give credit without further exami- 
nation. In order that a full inquiry might be 
made into circumstances so totally different from 
what had ever been known, either at Sparta or 
any other country in which he had travelled, Ly- 
curgus ordered the accused to remain in custody, 
and according to the truth or falsity of his alle- 
gations was his fate to be determined. 

A starch middle-aged man was next brought 
forward, who, in a tone of contempt, ridiculed the 
idea of marriage, which he described as only fit 
for fools or madmen, who were insensible of the 
fetters they were forging for themselves. He 
dwelt upon the laughable eccentricities of per- 
sons in love, who, for the sake of a smile or a 
kind look, suffered themselves to be cajoled out 
of their reason. He expatiated on the superior 
delight to be derived from that state, 

" Where love is liberty, and nature law," 

when compared with the forced returns of con- 
jugal endearments. The feelings of parental 
tenderness, in his opinion, originated in weak- 
ness ; and the prattlings of playful infancy he 
considered as unworthy of notice or regard. In 
this strain he ran on for some time, until Lycurgus 
at length ordered him to be taken away, and 
placed under the discipline allotted to lunatics. 


-On a moment's consideration he revoked this 

sentence, as being too lenient, and condemned 
him to drag on the remainder of a long life, under 
the pressure of those diseases of which he had 
sown the seeds in reducing this theory to prac- 
tice ; bereft of the assistance of his former friends 
who would shun him in affliction, and without 
any of those kind offices and consolatory atten- 
tions, which in the time of sickness and old age 
operate as refreshing cordials to the drooping soul, 
when administered by the hands of filial or con- 
jugal duty and affection. 

The next whose case came under consideration, 
pleaded as an excuse for his conduct, that he had 
acted upon principles of universal benevolence. 
_An eminent writer, some years ago, had shewn 
what distress must ensue among mankind, if the 
principle of population was suffered to operate 
unchecked. To ward off this evil as much as 
possible, he had hitherto remained a bachelor. 
Besides, he was the fellow of a college, and the 
statutes of the university forbade his marriage, 
under the penalty of losing his fellowship. On 
further examination it appeared, that he was the 
father of two illegitimate children. This circum- 
stance Lycurgus observed, proved the falsity of 
his former plea ; and with regard to the latter, 
the regulations of the University, according to 


his own confession, did not compel him to retain 
his fellowship. If any advantages were conferred 
upon a single life, under such institutions, it 
could only have been with a view of encoura- 
ging ingenious youth in their first outset in the 
world ; and not for the purpose of counteracting 
the laws of nature, and encouraging a life of 
idleness and dissipation. He was therefore or- 
dered to be deprived of his fellowship, and 
brought up again for sentence in six months from 
that time. 

A variety of other cases were heard, the parti- 
culars of which have escaped my memory. The 
excuses brought forward were many of them 
highly ludicrous and absurd. One man, with 
great assurance pleaded his intolerable bad tem- 
per ; but Lycurgus observed, that whether the 
plea was true or merely feigned, the person who 
had recourse to it ought to be punished. Per- 
haps the evil complained of might have origina- 
ted in a life of celibacy; and at any rate, he 
remarked, (while his features relaxed a little from 
their accustomed severity) that marriage might 
have proved an effectual remedy for it ; in proof 
of which he alluded to the case of Socrates, who 
confessed that he himself was naturally choleric, 
and that he owed the subjection of his passions 
to the discipline of his wife Zantippe. I could 


not help noticing that among the punishments 
inflicted by Lycurgus, he never had recourse to 
that alluded to in the commencement of this 
paper, of making the offenders openly ridicule 
themselves ; but this appeared to me to arise from 
the difference in the state of public opinion in 
Sparta and this country, by which conduct 
that in the former was held to be truly contemp- 
tible, in the latter is considered as far from dis- 
reputable. To the same cause I thought I might 
fairly attribute some little apparent variation 
from the principles formerly adopted at Sparta. 

Whilst my attention was deeply engrossed by 
the scenes before me, I was suddenly accosted 
by a person whom I had before observed to be 
very busy in taking delinquents to the bar, and 
who, calling me by my name, ordered me to 
follow him. The terror which I underwent, on 
receiving such an unexpected summons, was so 
great, that methought I was deprived of all sense 
and motion ; when to my agreeable surprise, my 
servant entered my chamber, and informed me 
that the printer's devil was waiting for No. 9, of 
the Inspector, and in his eagerness had knocked 
at my door until he had almost broken it to pieces. 
I felt so thankful for the relief which this rude- 
ness had unintentionally conferred upon me, by 
awakening me in such a critical situation, that I 


heartily forgave him ; and as my predecessors 
have frequently exercised the privilege of dream- 
ing for the amusement of the public, I thought 
I could not do better, in the absence of other 
matter, than present my readers with the result 
of my own visions* I hereby protest against all 
sneers and cavils, on account of my dreaming, 
from those small wits who are apt to jingle 
words as children do bells, merely for the sake 
of making a noise ; and who, out of their abun- 
dant charity, are 

" Sleepless themselves, to give their readers sleep.* 9 


44 Alas ! regardless of their doom, 
" The little victims play ; 
" No sense have they of ills to come, 
" No care beyond to-day." Gray. 

Whenever I see a number of " playful chil- 
dren just let loose from school/' capering and 
frisking about with all the wild thoughtless joy 
that the season of youth naturally inspires, I feel 
a melancholy gloom, prophetic of the difficulties 


which they will have to contend with in their 
progress through life. Without pretending to 
any superior sagacity, and setting aside despon- 
dence on the one hand, and vain expectation on 
the other, one may safely foretel, that but very 
few of these youths will rise to eminence ; that 
many, hurried by impetuosity of temper, will 
launch into the stormy ocean of life, without 
ballast, chart, or compass, and will perhaps be 
shipwrecked the first adventure ; — some of a 
more thoughtful and calculating turn, timorous, 
and fearful of miscarriage, will sit quiet specta- 
tors of the bustle, afraid to engage in a scene 
that presents so many difficulties, — and thus 
doze away their lives in idle or frivolous inac- 
tivity ; — whilst others, by attempting to perform 
parts for which they are not qualified, will close 
a life of long struggling and adversity, just where 
they began. Perhaps the principal reason of the 
many disappointments and miscarriages in human 
undertakings, is the foolish vanity of parents, 
who place their children in situations for which 
they are unfit ; and fix upon a mode of life op- 
posite to the bent and force of their genius. 
For my part, when I consider how easy it is for a 
man to succeed in any undertaking for which na- 
ture and genius have fitted him, I never witness 
any great disappointment in human affairs without 


concluding that the party has made some attempt 
inconsistent L either with his talents or his parti- 
cular circumstances. Many a man would have 
made a good pulpit, who cuts a sorry figure in 
it; and many a mealy-mouthed, silent lawyer, 
without either brass in his face or copper in his 
pocket, would have sneaked through life well 
enough as a journeyman taylor. A friend of 
mine who has an only son of that description, 
commonly called a fine sharp lad, has lately sent 
him to one of the Universities to study physic — 
thus a chattering barber is spoiled. I have been 
led into these remarks by two letters which I 
have just received, the one from my friend David 
Dulbard, and the other from an unknown cor- 
respondent, both of which I shall now lay before 
my readers. 

To the Inspector. 

Sir, — Yesterday being one of those " murky 
days of the month of November, wherein Eng- 
lishmen are apt to hang or drown themselves/' 
I who am a valetudinarian, stirred up the fire, 
lighted my pipe, and resolved to divert my sulky 
thoughts with the dancing days of my youth. 
In order to bring those days more immediately 
to view, I opened my Lilly's grammar, and found 



carefully pinned to one of the leaves, a list of the 
boys who were then my school-fellows, with their 
rank in the school, all ranged in regular columns 
under the different heads, optime, bene, and male. 
I observed my own name cut a very conspicuous 
figure in the column male, (you see, sir, I have 
always been a Dulbard.) However, bad as I 
then was, I have now great reason to sing O be 
joyful ! for on reviewing the list, and tracing the 
events which have since happened amongst us, 
I find that full one half of the companions of 
my youth, (and some of them my juniors,) have 
been long in their graves ; and amongst the sur- 
vivors, I can trace curates of villages, missionaries 
for the East, and martyrs for the Indies; but I 
do not find a single bishop, dean, archdeacon, or 
even one prebendary. But what of that ? thought 
I to myself; are we not rich or poor, good or 
bad, happy or miserable, by comparison ? I had 
no sooner made that reflection, and taken a whirl 
or two of my pipe, than I began to feel the gloom 
of my mind disperse, and an exaltation of spirit 
succeed, which for a moment made me perfectly 
satisfied with my own station of life ; for I con- 
sidered that I had the odds of so large a portion 
of my school- fellows. Poor lads ! I pitied them to 
be sure, but I had rather that misfortunes should 
befal them, than myself— which was veiy queer, 


but I believe very natural, in spite of all that your 
sentimental folks may say to the contrary. In 
pursuing these thoughts, I could not help taking 
particular notice of a boy that stood at the bot- 
tom of the list male, and who I veiy well remem- 
ber groaned under the constant chastisement of the 
master, who tried, and tried in vain, not only to 
preach, but to flog, Latin into him ; but the lad 
was so oddly constructed that he could not admit 
it either at the head or tail. That boy now fills, 
with great emolument to himself and advantage 
to the public, a very eminent station, and is a 
living instance that a superior capacity and a 
more extensive knowledge are not the steps by 
which a man can always mount either to favour 
or wealth. Since then riches cannot be secured 
to men of understanding, nor favour to men of 
skill, and as in our progress through life it is 
absolutely necessary that we should either shape 
our conduct in such a way as to satisfy the in- 
judicious majority, or acquire some trivial quali- 
fication that may amuse and divert the great mob 
of mankind; I would exhort all parents and 
guardians of children to teach them such a be- 
haviour and address, as will, upon all common 
occasions of life, prejudice people in their favour. 
For instance, Sir Archy^s method in the play, 
"booing and booing," is a useful trick, when pro- 


perly timed and dexterously managed. One 
might enumerate many other important acquire- 
ments of the like nature ; but above all, especial 
care should be taken never to let a boy hold up 
his head and pretend to exert a spirit of indepen- 
dence; such a spirit, fostered and matured, will 
be his certain ruin. Wise men do not love a 
superior, and fools hate one. Besides, the more 
substantial parts, such as learning and industry, 
can be made known but to few, and it is not 
worth while to spend much time in acquiring that 
of which so very few are j udges. Of all the polite 
arts I know, the art of getting and keeping money is 
the most useful ; nothing can bestow more merit 
than the possession of wealth, for it is the source 
of universal approbation and regard. How often 
do we see 

" The learned pate 
"Duck to tbe golden fool ?" 

I am, Sir, your obedient Servant, 

David Dulbard. 

To the Inspector. 

Dear Sir, — When I was about thirteen years of 
age, my father had some thoughts of placing me 
apprentice to a worthy old fishmonger of his 


acquaintance ; but unfortunately both for my 
poor father and myself, he happened at that time 
to have a dispute with a neighbour about a spa- 
vined horse of the value of £7. At the instigation 
of a quirking attorney in the neighbourhood, the 
quarrel soon ripened into a law-suit, in which my 
father came off conqueror. On discharging the 
attorney's bill, it was found to amount to £170. 
6s. 8d. — So much money expended on so trifling 
a subject, naturally suggested to my father the 
prodigious advantages that must result from the 
profession of the law. Without consulting my 
cast of mind, he immediately articled me to an 
attorney. I fagged at the desk for five long years 
in the country, up to the chin in parchments ; and 
was then sent to London to receive the last polish 
or finishing touches ; and there drudged one 
whole tenn amongst declarations, pleas, and re- 
butters, which I was as unable to comprehend 
as I am to decypher the hieroglyphicks upon an 
Egyptian pyramid. However, during my novi- 
tiate, I saw enough of the law to convince me that 
it consisted of so many subtleties and quibbles, 
and that the different circumstances of each 
client's case opened out so many new roads to 
terra incognita, that I despaired of ever being 
able to discover those mysterious regions. I have 
now spent the six best years of my life, the very 


spring of it, and feel such a sinking of the spirits, 
and such extreme hesitation when a question is 
proposed to me, that I verily believe my advice 
will never be worth three shillings and sixpence, 
although I think I should make a tolerable fish- 
monger, for I am already a dab at opening an 
oyster. I therefore beseech you, Mr. Inspector, 
to give my case your best consideration, and 
to favour me with your opinion upon the fol- 
lowing query : — 

Whether it would be prudent in me to abandon 
my present calling, and to assume the more sim- 
ple call of — Oysters alive ! O ? 
I am Sir, yours, &c. 

G. Jack Sprat. 


Fair Virtue ! from her Father's throne supreme 
Sent down to utter laws such as on earth 
Most apt he knew, most pow'rful to promote 
The weal of all his works, the gracious end 
Of his dread empire. — Akenside. 

At a time when my countrymen have been 
manifesting their joy, and in the most solemn 
manner returning public thanks to the Divine 


Being for our late naval victories, it would ill 
become a professed Inspector to remain wholly 
silent. I cordially unite with my fellow-citizens 
in the common exultation; and while I com- 
mend that piety which professes to receive these 
events as providential interferences, I must also 
express my approbation of the honourable feelings 
so universally excited by the death of the gallant 
Lord Nelson. It is not my intention to write an 
eulogium on that lamented nobleman ; but I may 
be permitted to observe, that among the number 
of those whose lives have been devoted to the 
service of their country, few have possessed 
stronger claims to the lasting esteem of a grate- 
ful nation. 

Independent of that public thanksgiving to 
which I have above alluded, the modes resorted 
to on this occasion by my fellow-subjects, in order 
to testify their attachment to the cause of their 
country, have been as various as the characters of 
the individuals. Some have sought to manifest 
that attachment by eating, some by singing or 
swearing, and others by getting drunk. For my 
own part, I think I cannot better evince my 
patriotic disposition, than by writing an In- 
spector, wherein I shall endeavour to set forth 
the conduct incumbent upon every person who 
is desirous of sustaining the character of a real 


The man who expresses no pleasure at the late 
naval victories, might justly be suspected of 
wanting patriotism ; and the same suspicion may, 
with equal justice, attach to him who is careless 
of the influence of his own individual conduct on 
the prosperity of his country. A late essayist of 
distinguished reputation has laid it down as a 
maxim that " a bad man cannot be a patriot." 
However objectionable this doctrine may be 
deemed by many pretenders to this virtue in the 
present day, it appears to be founded on the firm 
basis of truth. Such persons as have testified 
their belief in the doctrine of a superintending 
Providence, by joining in the late religious rites, 
must be aware, that in order to propitiate the 
favour of the Deity, it is requisite that we conform 
implicitly to his commands, whether expressly 
revealed to us, or discoverable by the efforts of 
reason. They who acknowledge the authority of 
scripture, will recollect many promises of national 
blessings annexed to the performance of certain 
duties ; while on the other hand, national de- 
pravity is frequently threatened with the most 
exemplary judgments. The instances upon 
record in which these promises and threatenings 
were carried into effect, are numerous, and will 
readily occur to the memories of most of my 

In what I am about to advance further on this 



subject, I shall confine myself to the benefits 
arising*, in a national point of view, from the cul- 
tivation of that virtue, which is equally enforced 
both by natural and revealed religion. To expa- 
tiate on the rewards which the latter holds out in 
a future state, would be inconsistent with my 
plan, and I shall therefore leave it to the divine, 
whose peculiar province it is, and who must be 
better qualified to treat the subject in a proper 
manner. Neither shall I here attempt to shew 
the advantages arising to individuals, from a 
strict adherence to the dictates of virtue, although 
it must follow, that if such conduct contribute 
to individual happiness, it cannot fail to promote 
the aggregate happiness of the community. 

Under a constitution like the British, the pro- 
fessed patriot, if devoid of virtue, is a dangerous 
character. The inferior orders of society are na- 
turally inclined to envy the situation of their 
superiors; and hence every assertion, that the 
former are made the dupes or prey of the latter, 
is swallowed with avidity, and believed on the 
slightest grounds. The passions of the multitude 
are generally headstrong, and when excited in 
favour of any person whom they are led to con- 
sider as their advocate, sober appeals to their 
judgment are ineffectual, in proportion to their 
want of real information. Depravity of heart 


will often lead a designing man to assume the 
mask of patriotism, in order to obtain that conse- 
quence in the state, and those honours and 
emoluments, from which his evil passions, without 
this disguise, would have effectually excluded 
him. Ambition, envy, or avarice, will prompt 
him to revile the characters of those in power, 
from a hope of supplanting them; while to those 
who cannot penetrate into his motives, his con- 
duct may appear to originate in a zeal for the 
public service. The want of sound principles 
will leave him at liberty to prosecute his object, 
without regarding the means by which it is at- 
tained ; and like another Catiline, he will hazard 
the welfare of the community rather than suffer 
his vicious propensities to remain ungratified. 
But if the practice of virtue were more generally 
prevalent, we should not so frequently see the garb 
of patriotism assumed for the sake of procuring 
personal advantages. We should find fewer imi- 
tators of the example of a late popular character 
in this nation,* whose unqualified opposition to 
the measures of government is known to have 
originated in his being refused an appointment 
to a certain embassy. I do not mean to infer, 
from these remarks, that every professed patriot 

* John Wilkes, Esq. 


is actuated by similar motives, nor to dispute the 
good effects which in some instances were pro- 
duced by the exertions of the individual above 
alluded to; but I think it may fairly be con- 
cluded, that if all classes were more generally 
virtuous, there would be less reason for cen- 
suring' the conduct of men in power; and it 
would also cause the remonstrances of those who 
oppose their measures from principle, to be at- 
tended with greater effect. 

The want of that information, which I have 
before adverted to, as rendering the multitude, in 
a popular government, more liable to be made 
the dupes of designing demagogues, would, in a 
great degree, be remedied by the prevalence of 
virtuous habits. Vice has a natural tendency to 
debase and enervate the mind, by the preference 
which it instils for sensual gratifications, above 
those mental inquiries and pursuits which tend 
to advance the empire of reason and knowledge. 
The man who is habitually given to drunken- 
ness, idleness, lasciviousness, dishonesty, &c. will 
feel little inclination to cultivate his rational 
faculties ; since this would only quicken those 
perceptions of right and wrong, which such cha- 
racters are generally solicitous to stifle. Besides, 
his habitual bias will lead him to devote every 
portion of time which can be spared from his 


ordinary avocations, to the gratification of his 
sensual appetites, and thus deprive him of the 
opportunities of cultivating his understanding 
and enlightening his judgment. 

The same regard to virtue, however, is neces- 
sary in the higher as in the lower ranks of soci- 
ety. Indeed, in the light under which I am now 
considering the subject, the former are under 
stronger obligations to it, if possible, than the 
latter. If national happiness be actually depen- 
dent upon the prevalence of national virtue, those 
who hold a larger stake in the public prosperity 
ought to feel greater solicitude for the cultivation 
of those principles by which alone that pros- 
perity can be perpetuated. The force of example 
is too obvious to need insisting upon. If those 
persons who, from their situation and opportuni- 
ties, possess every advantage in point of infor- 
mation respecting the obligations to a life of vir- 
tue, are notwithstanding found to act in such a 
manner as if there were no essential difference 
between virtue and vice, it cannot be wondered 
at, should the multitude shelter their own wicked 
propensities under the sanction of such illustrious 
names. If those in whose province it more pecu- 
liarly lies to legislate for the community, should 
enact regulations for the punishment of actions 
in others, which they themselves apparently con- 


sider as venial, it must be expected that their 
decisions will be disregarded, and their functions 
exposed to contempt. Should every device 
which depravity can invent be adopted by the 
great, in order to carry their purposes into effect 
in the upper walks of life, they need not be sur- 
prised to find their dependents and inferiors 
resorting to the same means in their humbler situ- 
ations. In fact, that corruption which originates 
in the higher departments of society, and is pro- 
pagated downwards among the lower classes, is 
of all others the most pernicious in its conse- 
quences. It is like poisoning the fountain, by 
which all the streams are insensibly contami- 

In regard to national strength, it may also be 
reasonably concluded, that the efforts of a people 
inured to habits of temperance, industry, and 
every active virtue, would be much more effica- 
cious in repelling the attacks of an enemy, than 
those of an effeminate race, immersed in luxury, 
and degraded by gross vices. It has indeed been 
maintained, that among the latter alone can the 
elements of a military force be collected. There 
is no reason to apprehend any deficiency in the 
numbers of this class ; but the history both of 
ancient and modern times will afford many in- 
stances in which the exertions of a community, 


wherein virtue has been generally prevalent, have 
excelled those of the same nation, when equally 
populous but of deteriorated character. 

A slight examination of the actual state of 
society will suffice to shew, that even in this 
world, setting aside all considerations of a future 
state, vice, as such, is generally punished in indi- 
viduals, and virtue as generally rewarded. This 
is a part of that moral government which the 
Author of Nature has instituted. For a proof of 
this circumstance, the inauirins: reader is referred 
to Butler's excellent Analogy. But if such is 
the fact with regard to men individually, there 
is still greater reason to suppose that the same 
dispensation will be extended to the case of 
nations. Reason and revelation both concur in 
pointing out the certainty of another life, in 
which any apparent deviation from the general 
conduct of Providence, in dispensing temporal 
rewards or punishments, will be remedied. But 
nations, as such, have no existence in a future 
state, and hence they are more likely to experi- 
ence those consequences which observation must 
convince us are the natural effects of virtue or of 
vice in individuals. History is scarcely any thing 
else than the record of this important truth. 

It has been promulgated as a political axiom 
by many persons, who are advocates for the prac- 


tice of virtue in the concerns of private life, that, 
in conducting the affairs of nations, an occasional 
departure from its principles is indispensably 
necessary. — The preceding arguments, I trust, 
will sufficiently refute such sophistical reasoning. 
In opposition to the authority of Machiavel him- 
self on this head, I would venture to recommend 
the sentiments and practice of Darius Ochus. 
When, on his death-bed, his son and successor, 
Artaxerxes Mnemon, enquired of him, by what 
means he had advanced the Persian empire to 
such a height of greatness, and managed it so 
happily, in order that by pursuing the same 
steps, the same benefits might be insured ? The 
dying- kin^ replied, "that he had ever done, to 
the best of his knowledge, what religion and jus- 
tice required, without swerving from the one or 
the other." 

I cannot conclude this paper in a more appro- 
priate manner, than by adopting the language of 
a late eminent author.* " In proportion as jus- 
tice, and order, and truth, and fidelity prevail ; 
creating mutual love and good will, mutual trust 
and confidence, among men, which are the great 
bonds of peace and unity ; in the same propor- 
tion is the happiness of society, and the wel- 

* Dr. Samuel Clarke. 


fare of the public, evidently secured. When 
magistrates rule in the fear of God, looking upon 
themselves as sent by him for the punishment of 
evil-doers, and for the praise of them that do 
well ; making use of all the influence and autho- 
rity they are invested with, to promote virtue, 
righteousness, and good manners, among men; 
when laws are made with one continued view to 
the good of the public, and executed with dili- 
gence, equity, and fidelity ; when persons in all 
the relative stations of life, perform faithfully and 
conscientiously the duties of the respective stations 
wherein they are placed; when bargains are 
regularly contracted upon terms of equitable 
consideration, and executed with justice and 
punctual veracity; when in every exigence of 
common life, mutual trust and confidence, uni- 
versal benevolence and good will, are both the 
spring or motive, and the rule or measure, of 
action ; there is no one so absurd as not to see, 
that there hence arises, in necessaiy, in evident, 
in immediate consequence, an image of public 
happiness the most lovely that the mind of man 
can possibly be presented with. * * * * * So 
far as justice, and charity, and universal virtue, 
prevail and are practised in any nation or com- 
munity, so far will that community find those 
good effects, which, were men's virtue perfect, 


would be perfect felicity. On the contrary, so 
far as injustice, tyranny, fraud, luxury, and other 
vices are encouraged in any society of men, so 
far will that society feel certain degrees of those 
pernicious effects, which, where vice and corrup- 
tion arise universally to their highest pitch, do 
unavoidably end in total destruction." 


How jostling crouds with prudence to decline, 
When to assert the wall and when resign, 
I sing. Gay's Trivia. 

The following letter relates to a subject which 
has often forced itself upon my notice, and I 
therefore readily give it a place : — 

To the Inspector. 

Sir, — To the most cursory observer who 
has traversed the streets of London, the utility of 
the mode of walking adopted there — by each 
person when his right hand is to the wall, keep- 
ing the wall ; and when the contrary, walking 
outside — must appear obvious ; indeed, abso- 



lutely necessary, both for safety and convenience. 
It is a matter of regret, that such a practice is 
not commonly followed at Hull, and all other 
populous places. I have much reason to wish it, 
for I speak feelingly on the subject. This you 
will allow, when I inform you, that since my 
residence here, I have not only been jostled, but 
necessitated to make a thousand unmeaning 
apologies for coming in contact with others, 
though, in fact, I was not the aggressor ; in truth, 
I have more than once been in the same predica- 
ment as Sterne with the Marquisina di F. at the 
concert at Milan ; that is — I have been obliged 
to stand still while the person I have met has 
passed me! This, Mr. Inspector, is a serious 
grievance to one of my taciturn temper, having a 
spice of the Spectator in my composition ; and if, 
through the insertion of this letter in your mis- 
cellany, the rule I recommend should be made 
more public, and become generally adopted, it 
would prove an accommodation to thousands, 
and more particularly to 

Your humble servant, 


The inconveniences stated by Amicus, are such 
as ought to enforce the adoption of the regulation 
he has pointed out ; but he has passed over in 
silence some others, that weigh still more strongly 


with me, and which I hope will be thought 
equally deserving of regard by the readers of the 
Inspector, when they consider the probable loss 
they may eventually sustain. If the opinion of 
a great living author may be credited, it is the 
peculiar mark of a man of talent, that whilst others 
are pacing the streets, observing the faces of their 
acquaintances, or glancing at the shops, admiring 
the fashion of a buckle or the metal of a tea urn, 
the man of talent is giving full scope to his ima- 
gination, and — unindebted to the suggestions of 
surrounding objects — is declaiming or reciting, 
making nice calculations or digesting sagacious 
reasonings ; consulting, by the aid of memory, 
the books he has read ; or else employed in pro- 
jecting others. Now setting aside the obstacles 
which men of no talent have daily to encounter, 
owing to the grievance noticed by my correspon- 
dent, — the difficulties which we, men of talent, 
(and such all authors are by profession) have to 
struggle with, must be still greater. For how 
can we give full scope to our mental faculties, 
in walking along the streets, when our attention 
is called away every minute to the preservation 
of our noddles ; or how can we attempt nice cal- 
culations, or digest sagacious reasonings, for the 
benefit of mankind, in our perambulations, when 
all our skill and sagacity are ineffectual to guide 


us through straits, almost as dangerous, and 
equally difficult to clear, as those betwixt Scylla 
and Charybdis ? More than once has a casual 
rencontre with an unwary passenger, destroyed 
a train of reasoning which promised fair to ren- 
der the Inspector far more famous than any 
former periodical paper ; and 

" Like the baseless fabric of a vision, 
** Left not a wrack behind." 

The insertion of the following letter has, from 
accidental causes, been much longer delayed 
than I intended, or indeed than it ought to have 
been. It refers to a letter inserted in No. 4, of 
the Inspector, signed Priscilla, commenting 
on the behaviour of a class of men whom my fair 
correspondent denominated Starers :— 

To the Inspector. 

Sir, — I profess myself to be an enthusiastic 
admirer of beauty, in all its forms and modifica- 
tions. The most inanimate objects, nay the most 
minute, in the creation, from the expanded land- 
scape in the luxuriance of autumnal scenery, to 
the brilliant spar, torn from its native rock, all 
have my admiration. The grace of form, the life 
of motion, give warmth and strength to my per- 
ceptions. But " the human face divine" — a 


countenance lit up by love and intelligence, 
excites in my soul feelings of a nobler nature ; 
which a sense of kindred, and assimilation, ren- 
ders infinitely more gratifying and endearing 
than the highest possible pleasure which mute or 
inactive nature can produce. I am, therefore, 
upon principle, a Stare* ; and I can no more 
suffer a pretty girl to pass without notice, than I 
can change my nature. Priscilla's animadver- 
sions on staring, under your sapient sanction, 
have called forth all my resentment; and the 
more so, as I do not believe Priscilla is in ear- 
nest, or that your reverence is anything better than 
a Jesuit. As to the lady, I shall not be so rude as 
to comment upon her epistle; but I should be glad 
to know whether she is not verging towards " sin- 
gle blessedness ?' or if she w r as not, that very day 
she wrote to you, disappointed of a stare, when she 
had laid a bait for one. For my part, I have 
never yet found a really pretty and young woman 
offended by my staring — for I never meant to 
offend her. Possibly I may not understand the 
word in the sense she and you use it, for / should 
stare only when I saw T what was monstrous. If 
Priscilla has been so stared at, it is another thing, 
Be that as it may, I contend that I may look at 
a fine woman, and even let her know by my 
look that I think her so — (to say nothing of short-, 


sightedness, or the necessity of knowing one's 
friends) — without either alarming her modesty 
or breaking the rules of good manners. I am in- 
clined to agree with those who hold that " women 
and horses are the finest animals in the creation ;" 
but I hope I have always made a distinction, 
and plainly conveyed it by my manner of looking 
at each. The thing may be done ; and our bro- 
ther Starers (if we are to be called so) will attend 
to the hint. But with you, I am afraid, the dif- 
ference of idea will be very difficult to define ; 
for notwithstanding all " your natural modesty," 
by your sly remarks and allusions as to female 
dress, and the exposure of their persons, (not to 
follow you farther,) it is pretty clear, that you do 
not merely look at and admire, but you critically 
inspect the ladies. A fine protector, you, indeed ! 
since the Starers are now publicly informed 
where and how they are to stare ! 

I am, yours, &c. 


In answer to the observations in the above epis- 
tle, I would beg leave to remind my correspondent, 
that in my comment on Priscilla's letter, I stated 
that the evil she complained of was not of recent 
origin; and expressly referred to the account 
given of a set of Starers existing in the time of 
the Spectator, of short-faced memory. From 


the authority of that, my great predecessor, my 
facetious correspondent might have learnt what 
ideas were attached to the word, as used by Pris- 
cilla; or even a reference to Dr. Johnson's dic- 
tionary would have shown him, that one of the 
meanings of the word stare, is, to look impudently. 
" Old though I am" — I w 7 as going to repeat the 
rest of the couplet, but I check myself, lest any of 
my fair readers should entertain a lower opinion 
of me than I could wish — I am not insensible of 
the power and force of beauty ; and can, with my 
correspondent, admire "the grace of form and 
life of motion/' as well as the still more attractive 
charms that light up the " human face divine." 
I should be sorry to deprive any of my fellow- 
men of the pleasing sensations which the con- 
templation of such objects is calculated to excite. 
But I wish to remind them, that even this grati- 
fication, when carried beyond its proper bounds 
degenerates into impudence ; and however plea- 
sing on other accounts, then becomes painful to 
the object itself, unless indeed all sense of mo- 
desty is fled, in which case perhaps my corres- 
pondent would himself acknowledge, that the 
charms w r hich previously excited his admiration 
had likewise vanished. If he will agree to re- 
linquish so much of the liberty he claims, as the 
word stare evidently implies, I have no doubt 


that the whole of my fair countrywomen, and 
Priscilla among the rest, will be ready to exclaim, 
with Mercutio — 

*' Men's eyes were made to look, and let them." 


*' Some men there are whom Heaven has blest with wit, 
" Yet want as much again to manage it." — Pope. 

It has often been a matter of surprise and 
astonishment to many, that men of acknowledged 
talents and superior abilities have yet been so to- 
tally ignorant of the common forms of civil 
society, as to lay themselves open to the impo- 
sitions of the worthless, and become subjects of 
ridicule to others, who in literary attainments are 
incomparably their inferiors. Nor is it at all 
uncommon to meet with men of the first eminence 
in some walks of literature, who either affect to 
despise those pursuits which differ from their 
own ; or expose their ignorance when conversing 
on them in an almost incredible manner. Of the 
former of these characters the celebrated Dr. 
Goldsmith presents a remarkable instance. — 
Whilst engaged in works which will immortalize 


his name, this great author was the dupe of every 
one who came to him in the garb of distress. His 
feelings, however, were doubtless honourable to 
human nature, and were productive of unplea- 
santness only to himself. On the latter I cannot 
look in so favourable a point of view. If we trace 
to its proper source the contemptuous manner in 
which some men pretend to treat certain subjects, 
we shall find that it does not spring from a con- 
viction of the unprofitableness of those subjects ; 
but that the love of fame, and the wish of standing 
high in the estimation of the world, induce them to 
display their information on topics familiar to them- 
selves, and to despise others (though of equal im- 
portance) of which they themselves are ignorant. 
Characters such as these are but too common in the 
literary world. How much more amiable is the 
person who unassumingly imparts to those who 
surround him the benefit of his labours, and in 
turn listens to those whose inclinations have led 
them to other pursuits, than he who pompously 
sets forth his own abilities, and rudely refuses his 
assent to opinions, which he would insinuate to be 
beneath the notice of a man of sense. Such a one, 
though he be blessed with first-rate talents, yet be- 
comes disgusting to his friends by his self-suffici- 
ency, and affords opportunities to his enemies to 
expose him to deserved ridicule. For as in beauty, 


so in the endowments of the mind, does modesty 
confer the greatest charm. To hear a man converse 
with ease and elegance on the history of Greece 
and Rome, and, when the conversation turns on 
the state of his own country, betray the most pal- 
pable ignorance, though not an uncommon, must 
yet be allowed to be a surprising circumstance. 

No less do we wonder when men, whose learn- 
ing entitles them to the highest respect, support 
their opinions by arguments, or introduce sub- 
jects of discourse, where the rules of common 
society forbid their entrance. This may, in some 
instances, arise from a contempt of those estab- 
lished rules as below the regard of the man of 
science. But surely such conduct evinces a want 
of common sense. " When you are at Rome, do 
as they do at Rome." If the regulations of civi- 
lized life do not militate against virtue, they 
ought to be obeyed even although they be trifling. 
" Order is Heaven's first law," and the neglect 
of it, and of forms sanctioned by ages, has, in 
the instance of that nation which now proudly 
threatens our destruction, been attended with the 
direst effects. But it oftener springs from the 
pride of learning, of all others the most danger- 
ous ; inasmuch as it has a better foundation than 
either birth or beauty can afford. This over- 
weening consciousness of ability in one branch, 


most effectually closes the avenues of others, and 
gives that ill-directed bias to the mind which 
stamps with truth the observation I have chosen 
as the motto of this paper. 

But of every species of ill-directed wit, that 
which chooses religion for its object is the most 
despicable. To say that one acting in this man- 
ner wants as much again to manage what he has, 
is but a feeble condemnation of his wretched 
misapplication of it. Arguments, irrefragable in 
their nature, and convincing in the detail, have 
been so abundantly employed by the wisest 
men whom this world ever saw, to prove the 
pernicious effects of such principles, that I need 
not enter at large into them in this place. Per- 
haps, however, Christianity has not a more for- 
midable enemy to encounter than a person of 
this stamp. Few, if any, were ever turned to 
infidelity by argument ; whilst many have to 
lament the time when, seduced by the glare of 
wit and learning, they suffered themselves to be 
deprived of their only sure hope, and became 
ashamed of their profession through the fear of 
ridicule. Men who employ their wit in this 
manner, are much more dangerous than we are 
in general aware of. The facility with which the 
uneducated human mind assimilates its ideas to 
those of men respectable from their learning, is 


one great cause of our deflection from our pre- 
conceived opinions, even when those opinions 
are right. That such men, however, are justly 
entitled to the appellation of learned, and philo- 
sophers, I cannot conceive. Talents thus abused 
can only be superficial, except in very few in- 
stances, which are therefore the more to be 
lamented. " A little learning* is a dangerous 
thing ;" but they who explore the paths of true 
philosophy, will, the deeper they penetrate, be 
the more impressed with the awful truths of reli- 
gion, and the certainty of the being of a God. 
With regard to the common events of life, little 
need be said. How frequently do we express 
our surprise at the actions of our friends ! and 
yet we do not, although we condemn those 
actions, suppose that those friends are not able to 
regulate their own affairs ; on the contrary, we 
are convinced that they are men of understand- 
ing. Does not this shew that a man may be 
learned without much common sense ; and also 
that he may have that sense and yet not know 
how to apply it ? 

The following character will exemplify how a 
man of talent may become an object of ridicule 
— and the more so as it is not an imaginary one, 
but drawn from nature. Tom Wou'dbe is now 
verging on that age, when, if a man continues 


single in the world, he may, with propriety, be 
termed an old Bachelor. Not that he is deficient 
in personal appearance or fortune, nor still less in 
abilities ; but his evil genius, as he terms it, con- 
stantly impedes his approach to happiness. 

At a public school, to which he was sent when 
a boy, he distinguished himself by his perform- 
ances ; and though esteemed the cleverest lad in 
the school, was always unfortunate enough to 
lose those rewards which were within his reach, 
by some unlucky mischance, for which he had 
only himself to blame. When removed to col- 
lege, confident of his powers in one branch, he 
amused himself with dabbling in others, until he 
in the end came off without any of those honours 
of which he had made himself certain. Dis- 
gusted at what he thought ill treatment, he left 
the University, and made his entry on the great 
stage of the world. But, rendered no wiser by 
experience, he fell into sometimes ludicrous, 
oftener dangerous situations, which to relate 
would fill a volume. He at length paid his ad- 
dresses to a lady of beauty and merit, who, 
knowing his attainments, was favourably disposed 
towards him. Whilst his friends now hoped to 
see him cured of his follies — by some ill-timed- 
remarks, uttered without thought, on the eve of 
their marriage, he so offended the lady, that she 


refused ever to listen to him again. The cup of 
happiness thus dashed from his lips, brought him 
for a time to serious consideration ; but this was 
not of long duration. His unfortunate propen- 
sity to being thought a wit, led him again into 
broils with his acquaintance, by one of whom he 
was at length challenged, and seriously wounded. 
Nevertheless, Tom is still the same, though 
laughed at by all who know him ; no sooner can 
he get introduced into company, than his evil 
genius takes the lead. Ask him his opinion of a 
beauty — ten to one but he will anatomize in 
description the nerves of the face. Speak of 
the comforts of warm clothing and a good fire ; 
he will tell you that the New Hollanders go 
stark naked, or that the peasants of Altenburg 
wear petticoats no longer than their knees. Thus 
by his often ludicrous, still oftener misplaced, 
remarks, he is, though a man of great reading, 
and much information, shunned by his former 
friends, and banished from the company of fe- 
males. His ideas seem to be laid up in the store- 
house of his memory without order, and pro- 
duced without propriety. In short, he is, " e plu- 
ribus unum" an instance of a man who either has 
more wit than he can manage, or wants as much 
again to manage that which he does possess. 




Nimirum insanus paucis videatur, eo quod 

Maxima pars hominum morbo jactatur eodem.— Hor. 

Yet few men think these mad ; for most, like these 
Are sick, and troubled with the same disease. 

Periodical writers have generally chosen the 
metropolis for the scene of their remarks, partly 
in consequence of the larger scope which it 
yields for observation, and the greater variety of 
prominent characters which there force them- 
selves upon the attention, and start forward, as 
it were, spontaneously to claim a place upon the 
canvass. Hence the skilful artist is better able 
to group the different objects, and by a proper 
selection to hold up to ridicule the vices or follies 
which he wishes to assail, without incurring the 
charge of personality. It is well ascertained, 
that many of those sketches of character which 
are to be found in our most eminent essayists, 
were drawn from the life ; with the addition per- 
haps of some trifling circumstances, merely in- 
tended to disguise the portrait. This intention 


was more easily answered, in consequence of the 
multiplicity of persons who in a few points bore 
a resemblance to the picture, but who also found, 
in their vanity and self-love, sufficient to convince 
them that it was meant for some one or other of 
their fellow creatures. In a provincial town, an 
author does not possess the same advantages. 
Every strong trait of character is there immedi- 
ately applied to individuals, however unjustly; 
and as he who paints after the proportions of 
nature, although his personages may be ideal, 
must approach to the general standard, envy or 
malevolence will never be long at a loss to affix a 
name to the imaginary likeness. Evil disposi- 
tions will consequently be excited ; and he must 
be a bold man who, under such discouragements, 
can sit down to draw characters, the delineation 
of which may be the means of forfeiting the 
favour of those whose good will it is his interest 
to conciliate. 

Another reason for preferring the metropolis, 
as the scene for the remarks of periodical writers, 
may be, that it is supposed to exhibit more fla- 
grant scenes of folly and vice, than provincial 
towns. In proportion to the distance the latter 
are removed from it, in the same proportion they 
are supposed to possess those qualities by which 
poets and philosophers have conjointly charac- 


terized the country — purity of morals, and de- 
cency of manners. In a preceding paper, I stated, 
that owing to the increased facility of intercourse 
with the metropolis, we had imbibed a strong 
attachment to the principles and pursuits of its 
more polished inhabitants. This remark was 
exemplified in the eagerness for what is called 
country retirement, and the pleasures of watering 
places. An impartial enquiry, I am afraid, will 
shew, that it is not to such things alone, our imi- 
tation has been confined. I shall not enter into 
a detailed investigation of the subject, but merely 
hint at a few circumstances connected there- 

It were easy to draw a parallel between the me- 
tropolis and the place, for instance, whence this 
paper is dated, in the manner of Fluellin's exce?- 
lent parallel between the birth places of Alexander 
the Great, and our Henry V. — " If you look into 
the maps of the world, Pll warrant you shall 
find in the comparisons between Macedon and 
Monmouth, that the situations, look you, are both 
alike. There is a river at Macedon, and there is 
also moreover a river at Monmouth ; it is called 
Wye at Monmouth ; but it is out of my prains 
what is the name of the other river ; but 'tis all 
one ; 'tis so like as my fingers is to my fingers, 
and there is salmons in both." — We have our 


Court end, and our City end of the town ; our 
streets and squares, dignified by the same names 
as others in the metropolis, — although candour 
eompels me to acknowledge, that the contrast in 
their appearance is often ludicrous. We are not 
deficient in places of fashionable resort, however 
different they may be in point of title. The air 
of Bond-street itself is scarcely more congenial 
to a London buck, than that of Prospect-street to 
his worthy country imitators; and perhaps an 
intelligent and impartial spectator would be 
obliged to confess, that in the essentials of fop- 
pery and affectation, the latter are not much 
inferior to the former. The Crown and Anchor 
in the Strand, as a rendezvous for the adherents 
of a party, may probably here be recognized 
under a different sign. Nay if our scandalous 
chronicle may be believed, the mysteries of 
Brookes' s are not unlikely to become the objects 
of our imitation. That we are not without our 
Grub-street, the effusions of some of my contem- 
poraries afford sufficient proof; and even in the 
absence of this evidence, persons might possibly 
be found who would not hesitate to supply the 
want of it by an appeal to the pages of the In- 
spector itself. 

There are other points, however, which are un- 
fortunately still more striking. In every thing 


that regards morality, I am afraid that we are not 
one whit better than the inhabitants of the metro- 
polis. The courtly arts of flattery and adulation 
are not indeed so likely to be commonly practised 
among" us here, as in the neighbourhood of St. 
James's ; but that they are cultivated to a great 
extent, appears to me to be an undoubted fact. 
Whether there is any truth in the reports so long 
and so currently circulated of the prevalence of 
secret influence upon the conduct of our political 
men, T shall not presume to determine ; I might 
however, confidently appeal to the experience of 
many of my readers for proofs, that here at least, 
in private life, such influence has, in many in- 
stances, been experienced. Stronger inducements 
to corruption may indeed prevail within the walls 
of St. Stephen's chapel ; but I would not under- 
take positively to affirm, that we are totally free 
from criminality in this respect ; nor that in every 
case we give our suffrages according to that view 
of men and things which the suggestions of con- 
science would indicate to be the true one. The 
environs of Drury-lane and Covent-garden have 
long been proverbial as the haunts of profligacy 
and licentiousness ; yet probably West-street, 
and some other parts of this town, are deserving 
of public celebrity in nearly an equal degree ; or 
will be found only to yield the palm to those 
their celebrated prototypes. 


With regard to the mercantile part of our com- 
munity, they would probably think it an assump- 
tion to which they were not entitled, were I to 
declare that I consider them as more ingenuous, 
disinterested, and public-spirited, than the same 
worthy class who daily assemble at Batson's or 
Lloyd's. Custom House oaths, I am firmly per- 
suaded, are held in equal reverence at the two 
ports ; and perhaps the proportion of those who 
would rather decline a profit of cent, per cent, 
than take an undue advantage of the necessities 
of their fellow-citizens, is nearly the same in both 

It is among the middle classes of society that 
moralists have generally taught us to look for 
instances of a well-regulated conduct, and the 
observance of relative duties. Many lamentations 
have been made of the numerous deviations from 
such a line of action in the inhabitants of the 
metropolis; and we have had our feelings ex- 
cited by pathetic details of the sufferings arising 
from the gratification of irregular passions, and 
the neglect of social duties, among those persons 
from whom we might have expected a better 
example. We have been repeatedly told of the 
ruin brought upon families, in consequence of 
their striving to equal or excel, in appearance, 
such of their neighbours as were better qualified 
in point of fortune ; and of the pernicious conse- 


quences of that prevailing- love of pleasure which 
indisposes its votaries for performing their rela- 
tive duties, and commonly precipitates them into 
excesses, that finally ruin both fortune and con- 
stitution. Vice and folly, as they exist in the 
metropolis, have been exposed to our observation 
in all their native colours; yet it may be ques- 
tioned whether such lessons as these have pro- 
duced any reformation in the country, whatever 
effects they may have wrought in the town. 
Under every point of view it may fairly be con- 
cluded, that a sufficient portion of criminality 
exists in both situations, to constitute a strong 
resemblance between them. 

From the preceding observations it must be 
evident, that if I have not hitherto undertaken to 
expose local folly or vice, it has not been for 
want of proper subjects. Thanks to the manners 
and fashions of the present age, there is little 
reason to fear any deficiency in this respect ; 
unless indeed my lucubrations should have the 
effect of working a total reformation ; in which 
case I may probably think of discontinuing my 
labours, and confine the Inspector to fifteen or 
twenty volumes only. I would suggest to my 
readers, that one reason why I have hitherto been 
sparing of animadversion, may have been, that I 
was willing to see whether a dread of it would 
have produced a change of conduct. I am 


almost ashamed to confess, however, that few 
symptoms of amendment are yet apparent ; and 
this has been the cause why, in the preceding 
part of this paper, I have wished to impress a 
a conviction, that I am not unacquainted with 
our present state of manners and of morals. 

In what has been advanced, I would not be 
understood to insinuate that we have imitated 
the vices only of the metropolis. In different 
instances we have equalled if not excelled its vir- 
tues. To this assertion our various charitable 
institutions for the relief of indigence and misery 
bear honourable testimony. Nor are these the 
only demonstrations of our benevolence. The 
number is far from inconsiderable of those among 
us who delight in privately performing acts of 
charity, beneficence, and kindness ; in allevia- 
ting the sufferings of such unhappy objects as are 
pining in secret, under the pressure of mental 
or corporeal affliction, too delicate to bear up 
against the buffetings of adverse fortune, and too 
modest to supplicate relief. Probity, candour, 
and generosity, are virtues exemplified in divers 
living characters : and if fewer allusions are made 
to the examples of such persons, it will be be- 
cause their conduct is above all praise, and merits 
a reward far more lasting than the Inspector 
will ever be able to confer. 



" Our fathers have been worse than theirs, 

" And we than ours ; 

" Next age will see 

" A race more profligate than we." 

Old folks are very fond of recalling the scenes 
of their youth ; and it is natural enough. A 
young man may be compared to a traveller, just 
beginning a journey on a bright summer's morn- 
ing, when all nature looks cheerful ; but as he 
jogs on, the season declines ; autumn begins to 
scowl, and winter raves around him; he then 
wishes himself at his journey's end — and so it is 
with life. As age approaches, the burden presses 
more heavily, until at length we are unable to 
support it ; and down we drop. Making then all 
just and fair allowances for the sentiments of the 
same man in youth and in age, I still think that 
the race of which I am almost a solitary remnant, 
was more prudent, more virtuous, and infinitely 
more honourable, and punctual in its dealings, 
than the present. Commerce and its attendant 
wealth, had not then made such destructive havoc 


in the morals of mankind. I shall not pretend 
to enlarge upon that astonishing wide-spread 
licentiousness, which makes an old man shudder ; 
neither shall I attempt to contrast the sedate, 
sober, peaceful habits of the last age, with the 
empty foppery, and debauched, intriguing, specu- 
lating habits of the present day ; but shall content 
myself with giving a short outline of the life 
which a tradesman once led ; and leave my rea- 
ders to their own reflections. — A man was then 
content with slow gains ; he rose early, and ate 
the bread of carefulness. He was his own master, 
his own servant, his own banker. He loved his 
own wife, his own house, and his own shop. 
There all his pleasures, amusements, and cares 
centered. I know the gay will curl up their 
muscles, and call this the dull garrulity of dotage : 
but tell me, ye fashionable gentlemen, whether 
any of you on going to bed, can lay his head 
down, and bid the world good night, with as 
much serenity as such old codgers did ? No 
aching heart or aching head, no schemes of 
wealth, no spectres of injured friends or ruined 
tradesmen, ever haunted their pillows, or disturbed 
their repose. If a man, 50 years ago, had enga- 
ged in a speculation which required £5000. when 
he had not £5. in the world, it would have been 
regarded as the wandering of a disturbed imagi- 
nation. A r ow it is every day's practice, and we 


are told that such schemes give vigour to trade, 
promote the commerce of the country, and ad- 
vance men to wealth. Such measures perhaps 
may occasionally answer. 

" A short life and a merry one," is become a 
common maxim ; but let me ask, where is the fun 
of appearing in the gazette, or upon the new T 
drop ? — Whether I take my pencil to trace the 
fluttering phiz of a beau, or my pen to describe 
his manners, I always copy from nature, — and 
then, although the drawing may be faint, it bears 
some resemblance to the thing aimed at ; — here, 
then, is an original letter from a modish trader : 

To the Inspector. 

Sir, — I have a very comical, and at the same 
time a very serious, tale to tell you ; and I beg 
you will lend me a patient hearing. At my first 
entrance into business, I was desirous, as other 
young folks are, of making friends, and gaining 
customers; but being naturally timorous, and 
bashful in a most eminent degree, and having to 
enter upon a line of life which required much 
front and confidence, I felt myself perplexed be- 
yond measure, and hung back for some time; 
except that now and then, when my spirits were 
a little brisker than usual, I made a push or two 
that just kept me from starving. All the while 


I observed, that men, who I was very sensible 
were my inferiors, in point of talents and appli- 
cation, outstripped me amazingly, and were 
making rapid fortunes. 

At that juncture, a friend of mine, who had 
become bankrupt in his earlier years, and has 
since attained to great wealth, let me into the 
secret ; he told me that the way to win the heart 
was to fill the stomach and tickle the ear ; and 
that if I meant to succeed, I must give what he 
called parties, and be, or at least seem to be, every 
body's most obsequious humble servant. I now 
resolved to begin in good earnest, got me men 
servants and maid servants, laid in an excellent 
stock of wine, put on the world's mask, and 
pushed forward. 

Good dinners, tea and cards, soon brought me 
into notice ; and by some I was thought to be 
tolerably clever. So much show, with the noise 
that attended it, gained me the confidence of 
tradesmen, amongst whom I soon passed for a 
man of some consideration, and got into as much 
debt as I could reasonably wish ; — it is true that 
all the while I was not worth a penny — but then 
I possessed that which is of equal value with 
money. By shewing a bold front, giving myself 
the tinkling title of Esquire, and assuming airs 
of importance, I kept the tradesmen at bay ; for 


they sneaked and cringed at the appearance of 
so much parade, and durst not press me for 
money, for fear of giving offence to a person of 
my figure. I was now emboldened to run a gig, 
and whisked myself to the watering places, where 
I met and was welcomed by numbers of my 
feasting cronies. I now drank my bottle, played 
my rubber, visited the assemblies, and the theatre, 
and was a, good fellow at most of the convivial and 
fashionable parties in my neighbourhood. 

After I had thus regaled myself and my friends 
for some time, my taylor turned sulky, and began 
to grumble for his cash ; and as a beau is some- 
thing like a paper guinea — his value depending 
upon the good opinion of his friends — I was 
sadly alarmed at the impertinence of Mr. Thim- 
ble. However I sewed him up with grog, gave 
him an order for a new suit, and a promise to 
settle with him ; but it would not do. Whispers 
had gone abroad ; and as my house was a house 
of cards, a breath was sufficient to blow it down ; 
the enemy was at the gate ; for I found that little 
Timothy* was waiting to tap me on the shoulder. 
I therefore made an honourable retreat into the 
Gazette; and instead of giving feasts, I became a 
feast for the lawyers. Since then, my kind 

* The Sheriff's Officer. 


friends, who were once so obliging as to eat my 
beef and drink my claret, pass me with as much 
indifference as they do a dung cart ; and I sit 
cheerless and forlorn, writing this account. 
" Experience keeps a dear school, but fools will 
learn in no other." I am now a scholar regularly 
taught by the world, and shall no doubt be able 
in future to profit by my education ; and I desire, 
Sir, that you will publish this letter, to save other 
young gentlemen the trouble and loss of time 
which attends so fashionable a mode of instruc- 
tion. Tell them that " honesty is the best po- 
licy ;" and that " a man may make more haste 
than good speed." 

I am yours, &c. 

Tofty Clappy. 

Mr. Inspector. 

I think I have hit upon a capital plan for a 
geneial reform. We are all harping upon the 
same old string — the corruption of the age; now 
suppose each individual would lead a new life, 
and reform himself; would not that restore uni- 
versal harmony, in the most speedy and effectual 
manner ? Let every man mend one ; and let 
that one be himself. 

T. G. 



There is a folly which we blame, — 

That ready tendency to spy 

Our neighbour's faults with sharpened eye, 

And make his lightest failings known, 

Without attending to our own. Wilkie. 

To the Inspector. 

Sir, — Among the multiplicity of subjects 
which claim the notice of a professed Inspector, 
there is one to which I beg leave to call your at- 
tention ; as the evil resulting from it appears to 
me to be of no trivial nature. 

A few evenings ago, I was engaged to make 
one of a large party at a friend's house; and 
from the slight knowledge I had of many of the 
company, who were generally characterized as 
persons of sense and ability, I flattered myself 
with the hope of enjoying no ordinary pleasure. 
During the interval between our assembling and 
the appearance of tea, our conversation in some 
measure answered my expectation. But after- 
wards, I was sorry to find, that from treating on 
general topics, it became more particular ; and 
that remarks on the affairs of our neighbours, and 


animadversions on their conduct, engrossed a 
very considerable portion of our time. 

If I could have brought myself to believe, that 
merely an acquaintance with things unknown 
before, constituted knowledge, I should have had 
sufficient reason to congratulate myself on the 
great acquisition I had made this evening. The 
characters of many of my friends were placed in 
such a light that I could scarcely recognize their 
portraits ; their conduct under various circum- 
stances was severely criticised ; and motives im- 
puted to them which I verily believed them to 
be incapable of harbouring. 

Most of the company joined in censuring the 
behaviour of some one or other of their acquain- 
tance ; and the folly or indiscretion of Mrs. Such- 
a-one found a parallel in that of Mr. What's-his- 
name, or Miss How-d'ye-call-her. The female 
friend of one of our party was given up as a com- 
pound of levity and affectation ; that of another 
was found guilty of malevolence and hypocrisy ; 
a third was a bad housewife ; and the character 
of a fourth, for chastity, was hinted to be not 
altogether unimpeachable. One gentleman had 
risen to opulence by means which, some of the 
company partly insinuated, were incompatible 
with honour or honesty ; another was accused of 
intemperance and extravagance, notwithstanding 


all his pretensions to frugality and sobriety. I 
was sorry to find, that the instances of virtue 
brought forward were rare indeed ; and much 
fewer than those of a contrary nature. 

I confess that, from the conversation of this 
evening, my opinion of the moral state of society 
among us would have been a most melancholy 
one, had I not been fully convinced that the fail- 
ings of those persons of my acquaintance, whose 
characters came under consideration, were grossly 
exaggerated ; and each virtue which I knew them 
to possess, exhibited in such a manner as to give 
it the appearance of its opposite vice. I was 
often on the point of speaking in their defence ; 
but a false delicacy (for which I have since fre- 
quently condemned myself) prevented me from 
opening my mouth. Indeed the laws of fashion- 
able society enforce a tacit acquiescence at least in 
the sentiments of our associates ; and a person who 
should take upon himself to disturb the harmony 
of an agreeable party, by entering into any con- 
troversy, would forfeit all claims to future con- 
sideration. There were persons present whom I 
knew to be as warm friends as myself to some of 
the individuals whose reputations were attacked ; 
yet who, like myself, never uttered a syllable in 
their defence. Our conduct afterwards struck 
me as being similar to that of the Roman trium- 


v irate, who yielded up their individual friends to 
proscription, in order that they might be at liberty 
to gratify their personal enmity. 

Another thing which forcibly impressed me 
was, that during the interval employed in this 
manner, two of our number being unexpectedly 
summoned away— «on leaving the room they each 
of them successively afforded a fresh subject for 
animadversions, similar to those in which they 
themselves had freely indulged in regard to 
others. I was not displeased thus to find 

" Even-handed Justice 
rt Commend the ingredients of their poisoned chalice 
" To their own lips." 

But I could not help thinking, that were I 
obliged to leave the company, my reputation 
would probably be the next sacrifice ; and had 
this consideration operated as strongly upon the 
minds of the rest, it would probably have given 
a different turn to the conversation. For my own 
part, although I am an enemy to cards, yet in this 
instance, I heard with less regret than I should 
otherwise have done, a proposal for their intro- 
duction; thinking them the lesser evil of 
the two. 

When I reflect upon the characters of many of 
those who took an active part in the above con- 


versation, I am still more astonished at the course 
which it assumed. Some of them I can readily 
acquit of any thing like intentional calumny, or 
wilful misrepresentation ; even if they had been 
labouring under the influence of rivalry, or smart- 
ing under the infliction of injury, I cannot think 
they would have suffered their resentment so far 
to get the better of their candour, as to allow 
them to load the name of a rival, or even an 
enemy, with undeserved censure. 

In what I have said on this subject, I would 
wish to have it understood, that I by no means 
attribute what passed to the influence of that 
mild beverage of which we had partaken ; nei- 
ther to that propensity to scandal in the female 
sex, which some of their enemies are inclined to 
ascribe to them : for I could not help remarking, 
that some gentlemen, who had declined tasting 
the tea, were more voluble and censorious than 
any lady in the company. 

I am, &c. 


I thank my correspondent for his letter, — and 
as I cordially agree with him in opinion respect- 
ing the turpitude of the practice of which he 
complains, shall readily join him in condemning 
it. As his letter is without either date or post- 



mark, I know not in what part of the kingdom 
the scene to which it refers was laid ; but hope, 
for the credit of my townsmen, that it has been 
at a considerable distance. Agreeable conversa- 
tion is one of those social enjoyments which not 
only affords a high gratification, but also one of 
the most useful relaxations to the mind. It calls 
the attention off for a season from the fatigues of 
labour or of study. It tends to promote the ends 
of humanity ; to diffuse the blessings of civiliza- 
tion ; and by rubbing off the rust contracted in 
a life of seclusion, or incessant application to 
business, interests us more intimately in the wel- 
fare and happiness of each other. But when we 
feel no pleasure in conversation, unless it turn 
upon the failings or follies of our acquaintance, 
this is an evident symptom of a depraved mind. 
If traced to its source, I believe it will generally 
be found not to originate, as my correspondent 
appears to have conjectured, in wilful calumny 
or misrepresentation, but in a levity of speech, a 
talkative propensity, which seeks to gratify itself 
in heedless discourse, unconnected with any seri- 
ous thought either of its good or evil tendency. 

As to that part of my correspondent's letter 
which regards the censure passed, in their absence, 
upon those members of the party who had pre- 
viously concurred in animadverting so freely 


upon others, I can only wish that they had been 
placed in the same circumstances with Sir R. 
Fletcher and Foote, as related by Cumberland, 
in the memoirs of his own life. Garrick, Sir Ro- 
bert, and Mr. Cumberland, had dined with Foote. 
After passing about two hours in perfect hilarity, 
Sir Robert rose to depart. There was a screen 
in the room that hid the door, and behind which 
Sir Robert, for some purpose or other, stopped ; 
when Foote, supposing him to be gone, began to 
play off his ridicule, at the expense of his late 
guest. It was (the narrator observes) a way that 
he had, — and just then a very unlucky way, — for 
Sir Robert, bolting out from behind the screen, 
cried out — " I am not gone, Foote, — spare me 
till Pm out of hearing ; — and now, with your 
leave, I will stay while these gentlemen depart, 
and then you shall amuse me at their cost, as you 
have amused them at mine." Were persons who 
are present at such scenes as that related by 
my correspondent, to recollect, that themselves 
would perhaps furnish the next topics of this 
kind, I am of his opinion, that this consideration 
would tend most effectually to check that acri- 
monious freedom of speech, against which his 
observations are directed. 

It must be allowed, that to throw a veil over 
the vices or follies of mankind, when circum- 


stances render the disclosure thereof necessary, is 
equally culpable with the concealment of acts of 
virtue ; but many reasons may be assigned to 
show, that in exposing such vices or follies we 
should be well convinced that we are actuated by 
no improper motives, and that we do not exceed 
the bounds of justice and propriety. On this 
head, as well as on the general topics which this 
paper embraces, I would beg leave to recommend 
to the attention of my readers, the following extract 
from a late celebrated writer. Its excellence will, 
I hope, be a sufficient apology for its length. 

" Discourse of the affairs of others, and giving of cha- 
racters, are in a manner the same : and one can scarce call it 
an indifferent subject, because discourse upon it almost per- 
petually runs into somewhat criminal. And first of all, it 
were very much to be wished that this did not take up so 
great a part of conversation ; because it is indeed a subject 
of a very dangerous nature. Let any one consider the va- 
rious interests, competitions, and little misunderstandings 
which arise amongst men ; and he will soon see that he is 
not unprejudiced and impartial ; that he is not, as I may 
speak, neutral enough, to trust himself with talking of the 
character and concerns of his neighbour, in a free, careless, 
and unreserved manner. There is perpetually, and often it 
is not attended to, a rivalship amongst people of one kind 
and another, in respect to wit, beauty, learning, fortune ; 
and that one thing will insensibly influence them to speak 
to the disadvantage of others, even where there is no formed 


malice or ill design. Since therefore it is so hard to enter 
into this subject without offending, the first thing to be ob- 
served is, that people should learn to decline it ; to get over 
that strong inclination most have to be talking of the con- 
cerns and behaviour of their neighbour. 

" But since it is impossible that this subject should be 
wholly excluded conversation ; and since it is necessary that 
the characters of men should be known ; the next thing is, 
that it is a matter of importance what is said ; and therefore, 
we should be religiously scrupulous and exact to say nothing, 
either good or bad, but what is true. I put it thus, because 
it is in reality of as great importance to the good of society, 
that the characters of bad men should be known, as that the 
characters of good men should. People who are given to 
scandal and detraction, may indeed make an ill use of this 
observation : but truths which are of service towards regu- 
lating our conduct, are not to be disowned, or even concealed, 
because a bad use may be made of them. This however 
would be effectually prevented, if these two things were at- 
tended to. First, that though it is equally of bad conse- 
quence to society, that men should have either good or ill 
characters which they do not deserve, yet when you say 
somewhat good of a man which he does not deserve, there 
is no wrong done him in particular; whereas, when you 
say evil of a man which he does not deserve, here is the di- 
rect formal injury, a real piece of injustice done him. This 
therefore makes a wide difference ; and gives us, in point of 
virtue, much greater latitude in speaking well than ill of 
others. — Secondly, a good man is friendly to his fellow- 
creatures, and a lover of mankind, and so will, upon every 
occasion, and often without any, say all the good he can of 
every body ; but, so far as he is a good man will never be 


disposed to speak evil of any, unless there be some other 
reason for it, besides barely that it is true. If he be charged 
with having given an ill character, he will scarce think it a 
sufficient justification of himself to say it was a true one, 
unless he can give some further account how he came to do 
so : a just indignation against particular instances of vil- 
lainy, where they are great and scandalous ; or to prevent an 
innocent man from being deceived or betrayed, when he has 
great trust and confidence in one who does not deserve it. 
Justice must be done to every part of a subject, when we 
are considering it. If there be a man, who bears a fair 
character in the world, whom yet ye know to be without 
faith or honesty, to be really an ill man ; it must be allowed, 
in creneral, that we shall do a piece of service to society, by 
letting such an one's true character be known. However, 
no words can express too strongly the caution which should 
be used in such a case as this. Upon the whole matter : if 
people would observe the obvious occasions of silence, if they 
would subdue the inclination to tale-bearing, and that ea- 
ger desire to engage attention, which is an original disease in 
some minds ; they would be in little danger of offending 
with their tongue." — Bishop Butler. 



Although the virtues of universal philanthropy 
and benevolence are in the present age held up 
to our view with every possible encomium, I 
must confess that I am not so superior to what 
are now fashionably termed prejudices, as to over- 
look the objects of commiseration which fall 
under my individual notice, wrapped up in the 
visionary projects of a modern philosopher. 

Whenever I turn my eyes to the contemplation 
of the country of my ancestors, I feel thankful 
that I can claim it for my own, and an honest 
pride in surveying its manifest blessings and 
superiority. And in no one instance do I more 
glory in this superiority, than in the spirit of true 
liberality and benevolence which so generally 
prevails amongst us. Whether I read the classic 
works of antiquity, and examine into the state of 
the most renowned heathen nations, or observe 


the manners and institutions of modern times, in 
none do I find such noble monuments of philan- 
thropy as grace our island; a philanthropy not 
founded on the ridiculous principles of infidel 
philosophy, but inculcated by religion, and sup- 
ported with cheerful activity. It were vain to 
look for buildings appropriated to the relief of 
the poor and distressed amongst the Greeks or 
the Romans; the whole heathen world did not 
contain so many as are to be found within the 
walls of a modern city. Nay their language did 
not even contain a word sufficient to express the 
meaning of charity. Their sages taught learning 
and wisdom, but it was reserved for Christianity 
to add charity and benevolence, by teaching us 
the duties owing to our Creator. 

On this subject much more might be said than 
there is room for in the limits of this paper. It 
has indeed employed the pens of many able 
writers, and forms no inconsiderable share of com- 
mon place declamation. But as this declamation 
is generally directed against the want of the exer- 
cise of the social feelings, and as it falls but too 
often to the lot of the moralist to condemn vice, 
it is surely not unreasonable to indulge in the 
exquisite gratification of beholding virtue retain- 
ing her powerful influence over the human mind, 
and appearing in her loveliest garb, in the exer- 


cise of benevolence. Cold must the heart be that 
is not warmed by contemplating it so proudly- 
pre-eminent amongst us. Locally also, as well as 
nationally, this is a source of real pleasure ; and 
I cannot but heartily congratulate my townsmen 
on the distinguished rank which they hold in the 
practice of this virtue. The numerous and well- 
regulated charitable institutions in this town, are 
its proudest boast, and confer more importance 
on its inhabitants than their riches, their docks, 
or their commerce. 

It is nevertheless to be lamented, that, notwith- 
standing the laudable means taken to relieve the 
necessities of our fellow-creatures, a great propor- 
tion of them still struggle with adversity. That 
those who have once experienced the blessings of 
prosperity, are, when reduced to taste the bitter 
cup of adverse fate, the most deserving objects of 
our sympathy, will be generally allowed; from 
whatever event such a fall in life may originate, 
our sincerest commiseration is due to them. But, 
alas ! too often does the unfeeling pride of wealth 
lead men to triumph over such a fall, and pass 
by the sufferer with contemptuous scorn. How 
bitter are his pangs none can tell, unless placed 
in a similar situation. In spite of all the argu- 
ments of reason and experience, to prove %he 
frail tenure of riches, — and although .such an 


instance as I have just mentioned forcibly shows 
the uncertainty of their enjoyment, — yet does 
man hug himself in the possession of them, nor 
contemplates the possibility of a reverse of fortune. 
But if the situation of a man thus unfortunate 
be deserving of pity, how must the keen arrows 
of distress be sharpened ere they pierce the female 
breast. Born with flattering prospects, with 
pleasing hopes of future happiness, and nursed in 
the lap of affluence, woman's misfortunes interest 
our wannest feelings. With Jaffier may she say, 

-" I have known 

" The luscious sweets of plenty; every night 

" Have slept with soft content about my head, 

" And never waked but to a joyful morning ; 

" Yet now must fall like a full ear of corn, 

" Whose blossom scaped, yet's withered in the ripening," 

A man may find the means of subsistence in 
various ways ; a female has difficulties peculiar 
to her sex to encounter. The avenues of trade 
are almost barred against her; and in the few 
employments to which she may turn, she will find 
her place supplied by beings unworthy of the 
name of men, whose whole lives are spent amongst 
ribbands and muslins, and whose effeminacy 
would be best cured by participating in the dis- 
cipline of a seventy-four. 


It cannot but be considered as a national evil, 
that so many thousands of deserving females are 
deprived of bread by these means. Unable to 
find employment, they are lost in idleness, or 
driven to despair ; and enter on a career of vice, 
which soon terminates in a premature dissolution. 

To alleviate therefore the afflictions of the softer 
sex, — to afford them, without wounding their 
feelings, the opportunity of employing their 
industry and ingenuity, and to convert into a 
source of profit those arts which were once con- 
sidered only as accomplishments, — is a duty and 
a pleasure that will eagerly be embraced by 
every feeling mind. With these benevolent views 
it is, that an institution is now established in this 
place, which, if supported, will add another 
wreath to the brows of my townsmen, already 
distinguished by their liberality. The institution 
to which I allude is the Repository for Female 
Work ; many, on a similar plan, have succeeded 
beyond all expectation, and some of them in 
towns much inferior to this in size, wealth, and 

Besides the utility of such a plan, already men- 
tioned, it affords opportunity to those who live 
in affluence, to employ their leisure moments in 
contributing towards the general fund. Doubly 
sweet to the susceptible mind are the blessings 


thus bestowed, when the means of bestowing 
them are the fruits of its own energies. To the 
female part of my readers, this paper is princi- 
pally addressed ; they have already distinguished 
themselves ; and I am confident they will still 
remember, that accomplishments are never so 
attractive as when accompanied by benevolence, 
nor beauty so lovely as when the eye of sensi- 
bility glistens with a tear. 


What black, what ceaseless cares besiege our state ! 
What strokes we feel from Fancy and from Fate ! 
If Fate forbears us, Fancy strikes the blow ; 
We make misfortunes; suicides in woe !— Young. 
" Be not cleanly over much."— Anon. 

To the Inspector. 

Sir,— I beg you will take the first opportunity 
of giving your thoughts to the public, upon an 
evil which I have severely felt, and from which 
I dare say I am far from being a solitary sufferer. 
You must know, Mr. Inspector, that I am mar- 
ried to a very notable woman, who is in many 
points, as good a wife as ever fell to the lot of 
any man; but she has one prevailing foible, 


often productive of much uneasiness in our family. 
The darling" object of her heart is to establish a 
character for neatness and elegance in whatever 
regards the ceconomy of her house ; nor should I 
find any fault with her on this account, were it 
not that our family comfort is frequently sacri- 
ficed in order to promote it. Her endeavours 
have in a great measure been successful. In the 
estimation of almost all our acquaintance, our 
house appears an earthly paradise ; but on the 
other hand, the very reason why it excites their 
admiration and praise, makes it to me a real 
place of purgatory : although I can assure you, 
that I am far from being partial either to dirt or 
irregularity. In my estimation, the calm enjoy- 
ment of domestic comfort ought not to be sacri- 
ficed for the sake of appearances only. The sen- 
timents of my wife, unfortunately, happen to be 
a little at variance with mine on this subject ; 
and provided her vanity can be gratified by the 
applause of her visitors, she is regardless of the 
family privations by which it is purchased. No 
trouble or anxiety is spared in order to procure 
their momentary approbation ; and should an 
accident intervene to spoil the appearance of any 
part of our furniture after it has been properly pre- 
pared for exhibition, the loss of her dearest friend 
would scarcely be deemed a greater calamity. 


Were you, Mr. Inspector, to witness the care 
and circumspection with which I am obliged to 
act, in order to avoid infringing upon the pre- 
scribed regulations of our household, your gra- 
vity, though equal to that of Nestor, could scarcely 
secure you from laughter. I dare not open a 
door, nor touch a chair, without putting on my 
gloves, or making use of my coat lap, lest the in- 
sensible perspiration from my fingers should stain 
the brass lock, or sully the glossy mahogany ; in 
which case a sympathetic cloud would not fail to 
overshadow the countenance of my wife. Indeed 
so very earnest is she that all around her should 
wear a shining aspect, that her face (which, by 
the bye, Mr. Inspector, is really a very pretty 
one) is generally the only murky object in the 
house, unless it be sometimes that of your humble 

It has always been my opinion, that the right 
of using the fire poker (I mean in the way of 
stirring up the fire) was one of the indisputable 
privileges of a husband ; and I consequently 
claimed it at our marriage ; but after a long series 
of disputes, have at last ceded my pretensions, 
for the sake of quietness. For, will you believe 
me, Mr. Inspector ? the fears of my sullying 
its polish, disarranging the whole ceconomy of 
the hearth, and covering the chimney piece with 


a shower of ashes, have more than once occa- 
sioned my dear wife's falling into hysterics, when 
I have by accident unthinkingly put down my 
hand, as if about to lay hold of it. Nor is this 
the worst of the case. Whatever may be the 
temperature of the air, our fires, by a law as irre- 
vocable as those of the Medes and Persians, are 
lighted and put out, in the autumn and spring, 
upon certain days, which from time immemorial 
have been fixed upon for this purpose in the 
Housewife's calendar : and no plea of a backward 
season, or intense cold, can defer the period in 
which the cheerful flame must give way to the 
nicely curled ivory shavings. Even in the depth 
of winter, our fire is often suffered to become 
extinct, between the fear of the smoke of green 
coals on the one hand, and that of raising a dust 
on the other. 

This, however, is not all. The same principle, 
operating in different directions, pervades the 
whole of her housewifery. In order to preserve 
our crockery ware for extraordinary occasions, 
almost every article on our breakfast table is of a 
different pattern ; and the whole appears like the 
show-board of a china shop. At dinner, our 
knives and forks are of several sorts, some broken 
and some whole. Our silver table-spoons and 
the small quantity of plate we possess, are locked 


up, and suffered to tarnish, whilst plain pewter is 
substituted in their stead. Even as regards my 
wife's dress, she generally goes so much in disha- 
bille in a morning, in order to show her finery 
afterwards to advantage, that though I prefer 
simplicity to elegance, I am often almost ashamed 
of her, when a friend pops upon us acciden- 
tally. Her gowns are frequently altered to suit 
the prevailing taste ; and then laid by so long 
before they are worn, that another alteration 
becomes necessary. 

You may easily conceive, Mr. Inspector, 
that in the midst of this extraordinary anxiety, 
many vexatious events must occur to disturb the 
peace of our family. Our domestic animals are 
sometimes indecorous ; servants are continually 
guilty of blunders and misfortunes, either wilful 
or involuntary ; and even I myself, as I have 
before hinted, often come in for a share of the 
blame. What with the frequent recurrence of 
such mishaps, and anticipations of future imagi- 
nary ones, we seem daily becoming more and 
more insensible to the varied blessings of which 
we are possessed ; and unless the insertion of 
this letter, and your animadversions upon it, 
open the eyes of my wife, I dread to think of the 

Part of the few hours that I can spare from 


business, I generally wish to employ in reading, 
being very partial to books ; but my pleasure in 
this respect is much circumscribed, in consequence 
of my wife's disliking to see such lumber, as she 
terms them, in any of our rooms. If I am sud- 
denly called away, and accidentally leave my 
book behind me, it is immediately banished, and 
I find great difficulty in regaining it. Even the 
Inspector is not allowed to remain, although 
only for a few moments, upon the chimney-piece 
or mahogany table. You see that, like a skilful 
logician, I have reserved to the conclusion my 
strongest argument for your interference, which 
I trust will be granted to, 

Your humble servant, 

Timothy Softly. 

Before my correspondent had insisted so strongly 
on my immediately inserting his letter, he ought 
to have inquired whether I myself was married ; 
as in that case, my publishing it might perhaps 
be productive of some little uneasiness in my own 
family. I have thought proper, however, at all 
hazards, to grant his request. It might gratify 
the witlings were I to observe, that he ought to 
consider himself as a happy man indeed, whose 
wife had only one foible ; but the approbation of 


such persons would be dearly purchased by the 
loss of the esteem of the fair sex. Admitting the 
facts in Mr. Softly' s letter to be truly stated, 
few comments upon it are necessary. It has 
always been my opinion, (with due submission 
however, in this case, to the superior judgment 
of the ladies) that in all the regulations of a 
family, comfort ought, as far as possible, to be 
combined with neatness, order, and elegance ; 
but that care should be taken lest the former be 
sacrificed to the latter. The value of these in- 
deed, ought to be estimated principally according 
to their tendency to promote domestic comfort. 
If superior elegance, for instance, can only be 
attained by depriving ourselves of the conveni- 
ences of life, the want of it ought to be acquiesced 
in cheerfully. If a greater degree of neatness 
and order, instead of promoting the happiness of 
our families, be only procurable by continu- 
ally harassing ourselves and every one around 
us, and loading our minds daily with fresh cares 
and imaginary evils, prudence requires that our 
desire after it should be circumscribed within 
proper bounds. For my own part, I must ac- 
knowledge, that I seldom enter the interior of 
any house, without involuntarily forming some 
idea of the character of the mistress from its 
general appearance and arrangement; in the 


same way as a disciple of Lavater would from 
her countenance. Neatness and regularity insen- 
sibly prepossess me in her favour ; but if cir- 
cumstances indicate that these very estimable 
qualities are pushed into extremes, and that 
every deviation from them, however slight, be- 
comes productive of pain and mortification ; if 
I see the master of the house, like my friend 
Timothy, putting on his gloves to open the door, 
or the servant ready to commit a fault from the 
very dread of doing it, — my sentiments change ; 
and instead of admiring her for her management, 
I pity her for her misplaced anxiety. 

Philosophers, who are generally considered (at 
least in their own estimation) as most capable of 
directing mankind in their search after happiness, 
have often expatiated on the folly of placing our 
chief pleasure on inferior objects, liable to fre- 
quent accidents, over which we have no controul, 
and commonly possessed of only an imaginary 
value. Perhaps Mrs. Softly's attachment to 
the decorations of her house may justly be con- 
sidered in this light. How precarious must that 
happiness be, which is continually dependent on 
wind and weather, the slovenliness of servants, 
the thoughtlessness of visitors, and the perpetual 
recurrence of accidents ! Dust in summer, and 
damp in winter, will cloud the polish of the 


brightest steel, and sully the lustre of the finest 
mahogany. Servants will not always execute 
the wishes of their masters or mistresses, and are 
often apt to substitute wiping for rubbing. Every 
guest will not, like my correspondent, be brought 
to take the precaution of putting on his gloves 
before he seizes the fire poker or draws a chair. 
Accidents often occasion the rusting of a knife, 
the tarnishing of a piece of plate, the staining 
of a carpet or a table ; and cats and dogs, where 
they form parts of an establishment, will some- 
times misbehave, in spite of even Mrs. Softly 

The following letter, which I received some 
time ago, from another hand, will form no im- 
proper conclusion to this paper. I recommend it 
to the attention of both Mr. and Mrs. Softly, in 
common with the rest of my readers who are 
either married or entertain thoughts of entering 
into that state ; sincerely wishing the promul- 
gation of it may prove as beneficial as my cor- 
respondent appears to think it will be. 

" Mr. Inspector. 

Sir, — I am an Englishman, and therefore the 
good of my countrymen, like oil in a Florence 
flask, is always uppermost in my mind. I have 
turned over several dead * and living authors, 


to find out a remedy for dissensions in ma- 
trimony. All my labour proved ineffectual 
till yesterday, when looking over a Spanish 
author, (for I read Cervantes in his own tongue) 
I found out a receipt for Happiness in Wedlock. 
I do not mean to make a penny of it, and shall 
therefore make no secret of it, nor of its author ; 
though perhaps your publishers may wish I had, 
in order that they might reap the benefit of the 
advertisements. But not to detain you any 
longer — Alphonso, King of Arragon, says, that 
f to make a happy marriage, the husband should 
be deaf and the wife blind ; that he should not 
hear the reproaches of his wife, nor she see the 
errors of her husband/ 

I am, 
Your most obedient servant, 

P. W." 




• Emulate what reason best conceives 

Of love celestial ; whose prevenient aid 

Forbids approaching ill; or gracious draws, 

When the lone heart with anguish inly bleeds, 

From pain its sting, — its bitterness from woe. — Mallet. 

Various are the modes of writing adopted by 
moralists,, for the purpose of conveying instruc- 
tion to mankind, and enforcing the obligations 
to a life of virtue. Some have preferred the 
didactic method, and contented themselves with 
laying down the rules by which our conduct ought 
to be governed ; others have endeavoured to 
operate upon the judgment through the medium 
of the imagination — and hence tales, fables, and 
allegory derive their origin : others again have 
confined their labours principally to the exem- 
plification of the truths they wished to inculcate, 
by appeals to real characters, as exhibited in the 
pages of history, or falling within the sphere of 
private observation. Mankind are so constituted 
that each of these modes will be differently ap- 
preciated by different persons. Many feel no 
relish for truth unless she appear in all her native 


simplicity ; and are ready to aver of her {what 
the poet observes on another occasion,) that she 

" Needs not the aid of foreign ornament, 

" Bat is, when unadorned, adorned the most :" 

Whilst minds of a contrary stamp are more 
strongly impressed, either by some fanciful re- 
presentation of the virtue or vice which is in- 
tended to excite their approbation or disgust ; or 
by viewing it embodied in real character, as re- 
corded in history, or existing in common life. 

It is the peculiar province of the periodical 
essayist, by uniting these different means, to en- 
deavour, at least, to promote the intellectual 
improvement of the various classes of readers, 
under whose eyes his lucubrations are expected 
to come. Although duly sensible of this truth, 
I must confess, that I never experience so much 
pleasure in fulfilling the office of Inspector, 
which I have assumed, as when I am led to me- 
ditate on the characters of persons eminent for 
their public or private virtues. By contempla- 
ting such objects we are forcibly brought to 
approve, and imperceptibly to imitate, their ex- 
cellencies. We trace their behaviour through 
various trying situations ; see wherein they have 
erred, (as the best of men will often err ;) and 
derive from their examples, at once inducements 


to virtue, and precedents for our own regulation 
under similar circumstances. From them we 
may learn how the theoretical principles we 
profess to believe, may best be reduced into 
practice. It is much easier indeed to delineate a 
vicious, than a virtuous character ; and perhaps 
the execution of the former will often procure an 
author more applause. But such a portrait is 
frequently examined only with a view of finding' 
in it something reprehensible, which we fancy is 
applicable to our neighbours ; whilst in the latter, 
our self-love leads us to ascribe part of its beauties 
to ourselves, and sometimes may induce us to 
copy the good qualities of the original. 

The character of Fidelia, as delineated in the 
Spectator, (No. 449,) is a very amiable one. We 
cannot but admire that sense of duty which led 
a beautiful and accomplished young woman to 
dedicate all her powers of pleasing, to cheer the 
languid hours of an aged and afflicted parent, of 
whom she was the sole prop and stay. Those 
elegant accomplishments which she possessed in 
a high degree, and to procure which he had la- 
vished his riches, with no other view, probably, 
than that of seeing her the idol of public ad- 
miration, she applied entirely to promote his 
comfort and alleviate his sufferings. " The love 
of fashion and the love of sway," those two 


powerful motives of action, which a celebrated 
poet has described as the ruling passions in every 
woman's bosom, were by Fidelia kept in sub- 
serviency to the dictates of filial duty ; and even 
the addresses of a lover, in every respect worthy 
of her affection, were declined, lest the duties of 
the conjugal state should have interfered with 
that attention, which, in her opinion, the situation 
of her father imperiously demanded. The bene- 
volence of heart, and strength of principle, which 
dictated this line of conduct, must excite feelings 
of admiration, even in minds incapable of ma- 
king similar sacrifices. 

The behaviour of Fidelia, however, is not 
wholly unexampled in the present degenerate 
age. Many instances, I am persuaded, might be 
adduced, wherein the powers of pleasing be- 
stowed by nature on the female sex, are exerted 
in an equally honourable manner. Indeed it is 
from this loveliest part of the creation, that all 
men fondly look for that kind sympathy, those 
endearing blandishments, which divest the evils 
of life of half their terrors ; and soothe, if they 
cannot eradicate, those afflictions, mental or cor- 
poreal, from which no stage nor condition of life 
is wholly exempted. In the feeling mother, the 
affectionate daughter, the loving wife, we are sure 
of meeting with those who, in the hour of adver- 


sity, will cheerfully endeavour to alleviate our 
distress. Their domestic habits, the nature of 
those occupations in which they are engaged, 
and above all, those fine sensibilities with which 
they are endued, peculiarly fit them for the ful- 
filment of this important branch of social duty. 

With the other sex, the case is in general very 
different ; owing to the operation of various 
causes. The constitutions of men render them 
naturally less susceptible of the tender feelings ; 
their habits, formed in the hurry and bustle of 
active life, cause them to be more inattentive 
to the suggestions of sympathy ; the cares and 
turmoil of business engross their attention ; and 
being commonly less liable to experience the 
pangs of sickness and affliction themselves, they 
view the sufferings of others with a greater degree 
of apathy, and exert less activity in procuring 
them relief. 

These considerations have often, formerly, led 
me to admire the behaviour of an amiable young 
man of my acquaintance, whom I shall introduce 
to my readers by the name of Eudoxus. Al- 
though I do not pretend to say that he equalled 
Fidelia in filial regard, yet his conduct justly 
entitled him to be held up as an example to 
others of his own sex. 

The father of Eudoxus was far advanced in 


years, and had been a long time blind. He was 
a widower, with no other child, nor indeed near 
relative ; neither had he the advantage of a great 
variety of friends, whose attention and conversa- 
tion might, in some degree, have rendered less 
irksome the privation of sight under which he 
laboured ; and cheered his mind when sinking 
under the languor that generally accompanies 
old age. This want, however, was in a great 
degree compensated by the kindness of his son, 
whose views were continually directed to antici- 
pate his father's wishes, and procure him every 
gratification his situation would allow. 

Although Eudoxus was extensively engaged in 
business, which consequently engrossed a large 
portion of his time, and left him few hours at his 
own disposal, he nevertheless contrived to devote 
some of his leisure to the suggestions of filial duty. 
Happy in an affectionate wife and a family of 
amiable children, he did not forget, amid their ca- 
resses, that there was another who had a claim to 
some part of his attention ; and who had watched 
over him with paternal tenderness, in the helpless 
hours of infancy. He recollected the anxiety 
with which his fond parent provided for the cul- 
tivation of his talents in youth, in order that he 
might procure those intellectual qualifications 
which contribute so much to the real happiness 


of life, and be enabled to sustain with propriety 
the respectable station in which he was placed. 
Blessed with the full enjoyment of every sense, 
and particularly of that invaluable one of sight, 
Eudoxus fully entered into the cheerless situa- 
tion of his aged father, to whom the pathetic 
lines of Milton, descriptive of his own condition, 
might with equal propriety be applied : — 

- With the year 

Seasons return, but not to me returns 
Day, or the sweet approach of ev'n or morn, 
Or sight of vernal bloom, or summer's rose, 
Or flocks, or herds, or human face divine ; 
But cloud instead, and ever-during dark 
Surrounds me ; from the cheerful ways of men 
Cut off, and for the book of knowledge fair 
Presented with an universal blank 
Of nature's works, to me expung'd and ras'd, 
And wisdom at one entrance quite shut out. 

To lessen these privations, Eudoxus applied 
himself with unceasing assiduity. In his little 
excursions into the country, he observed the 
various changes in the face of nature with a 
keener eye, in order that he might be enabled 
by his descriptions to soothe the mind of him to 
whom such appearances were no more visible, 
and render the want of sight less regretted. His 
kindness operated to recall the images of former 
pleasing scenery; and thus to substitute the 


visions of fancy for the present barren reality. 
He detailed the passing events of the day ; he 
entered into the feelings of an old man towards 
the few remaining companions of his happier 
years ; and by recounting whatever he might 
have learnt respecting them, endeavoured to gra- 
tify those feelings. 

The last time I had occasion to call upon 
Eudoxus, I was referred to him at his aged 
parent's, who at that time laboured under the 
attacks of an acute disease. — Eudoxus was sit- 
ting by his father's couch, reading to him ; and, 
whenever a paroxysm came on, endeavouring 
by every means which prudence could suggest, 
to mitigate the pangs of the venerable sufferer. 
The latter, if tolerably at ease, would, at the 
close of every paragraph, comment upon what he 
heard ; and frequently digressed very far from 
the subject to descant on the occurrences of his 
early years, — upon which he dwelt with all the 
garrulity of age ; while the countenance of the 
son glistened with pleasure, to find his attention 
drawn from his present forlorn condition to the 
consideration of better days. Although I had 
been acquainted with Eudoxus for some time, 
and entertained a favourable opinion of his vir- 
tues, the impression made upon my mind by his 
behaviour at this period, was such as to raise him 
still higher in my estimation. 


Thus, while many other men of the same age 
and circumstances were immersed in sensuality 
and dissipation, or engrossed by a sedulous at- 
tachment to the fashionable mysteries of gaming, 
was this worthy young man actively employed 
in alleviating a parent's cares, and administering 
to him the balm of comfort and consolation. 
Nay, the innocent pleasures and amusements of 
life, in which Eudoxus might have freely partici- 
pated, he frequently relinquished, in order that 
he might fulfil the dictates of duty. In the com- 
pany of his own amiable family, and a large 
circle of friends, he might have passed very 
agreeably every hour that could be spared from 
his customary avocations ; and yet have received 
the praises of the world as a pattern of domestic 
virtue. He might have contented himself with 
spending a vacant hour in his father's presence, 
and procuring him every solace and attention 
which money could have purchased ; and yet 
have been considered by the generality as a per- 
fect model of filial tenderness. But Eudoxus 
drew his opinions of duty from a purer source ; 
and his practice bore honourable testimony to 
the rectitude of his principles. — It is only to be 
wished, that my endeavour to do justice to his 
conduct, may prove the means of causing it to 
be more universally imitated. 



So Harlequin extolled his horse, — 

Fit for the war, the road, the course ; 

His mouth was soft, his eye was good ; 

His foot was sure as ever trod. 

One fault he had, (a fault indeed !) 

And what was that? — The horse wa3 dead. Prior, 

If my readers derive any instruction or enter- 
tainment from the present paper, they will have 
the goodness to attribute it to the kindness of 
two correspondents, of whose letters it principally 
consists. The observations contained in the first 
of these letters may be of considerable impor- 
tance to those who occasionally traffic in horses ; 
but, for my own part, I feel little interested in 
the subject. Indeed we periodical writers, (the 
good-natured reader will give me credit for a lit- 
tle vanity in this expression) are seldom conver- 
sant in what relates to animals of that species ; 
unless it should be to that old ambling nag Pega- 
sus, whom we may perhaps now and then bestride, 
though commonly to as little purpose as the idiot 
did his broomstick ; and like him too, we may 
exclaim — " if it had not been for the name of a 
horse, I might as well have been on foot." Nei- 
ther the great Isaac BickerstafF, nor his short- 


Faced successor, ever appears to have kept a 
horse. The latter generally travelled in a hack- 
ney coach ; and although he did once or twice 
hunt along with his friend Sir Roger, it was upon 
the Knight's steed ; and I believe, though his 
natural modesty has prevented any explanation 
on this head, his behaviour proved to the satis- 
faction of the neighbouring country gentlemen, 
that when upon horseback he was out of his ele- 
ment. The facetious Adam Fitz-Adam wrote a 
whole paper upon horses and horse-racing ; but 
in it he shewed less knowledge of the noble ani- 
mals in question, than of gentlemen grooms and 
jockies. Yet he was the only one of my prede- 
cessors, that I am acquainted with, who ever pos- 
sessed a nag; and certainly with all his' superior 
judgment, his success in this speculation was not 
calculated to inspire me with a determination to 
follow his example. His untimely fate affords a 
melancholy proof of the uncertainty of all earthly 
enjoyments; and often reconciles me to those 
pedestrian exertions to which I appear doomed 
through life. Poor Fitz-Adam ! The very first 
ride he took in that one-horse chair which formed 
the acme of his wishes, and to attain which he 
assiduously toiled through many years, proved 
his last.* As I always wish to draw some conso- 

* Vide— The World, No. 209. 


lation from even the most disagreeable circum- 
stances, I often comfort myself for being com- 
pelled to go on foot, with this reflection — that at 
any rate I am in no danger of being duped by 
jockies, or breaking my neck by a fall from 
horseback. But to my correspondent's letter. 

To the Inspector. 

Sir, — In my younger days, I had a particular 
pride in keeping a fine prancing horse ; for I fan- 
cied that a young gentleman never appeared of 
so much importance as when mounted on a met- 
tlesome steed, with leather breeches, japanned 
boots, shining spurs, and a dandy whip. Thus 
accoutred, I vainly imagined I was trotting on 
the high road to distinction. But as I grew 
older, I grew wiser; for in my dealings with 
jockies, I assure you I have bit the bridle, and am 
now a worse man, by some hundreds, for my 
folly. However, what was once a vanity, is now 
an act of necessity ; for I am troubled with a 
complaint which compels me to ride for my life ; 
and I give you this account of my dealings in 
order that you may inspect the evil, and give 
your opinion upon the best mode of redressing 
it. I should like to know how it happens that 
men, and those too who, on other occasions, pass 
current in the world, (that is, who are as honest 


as their neighbours,) should, when they have a 
horse for sale, make it their study to use every 
art, shift, and contrivance, to impose upon the 
unwary purchaser ? Does it not prove, that there 
is a selfishness inherent in mankind ; and that 
men in general will over-reach and cozen when it 
is their interest to do so, and when they can do it 
with impunity? Horses are less understood 
among us townsmen, than most other articles of 
traffic ; and as there is a smaller chance of de- 
tection, there is more room for the heart to take 
its natural play. But to the point. 

My first purchase w r as a blood gelding, with a 
neck like a rainbow; he went so near the ground, 
and shovelled the dust in such clouds about me 
in the summer, and so bespattered me with dirt 
in the winter, that I could seldom see the road. 
At length he bowed the knee, saluted the turn- 
pike, and popped your humble servant into the 
Newland Drain. I bore this with tolerable com- 
posure, and tried again. My second was a 
plump looking mare, that carried a particularly 
grand tail. In combing it one day, to my great 
surprise, the hair sloughed off, and left me only 
the naked stump. The fact was, — her natural tail 
was as bare as a rat's, and the dealer had dressed 
her up in an artificial one. However, I was not 
discouraged, for I tried again, and have since, at 


different times, had restive, plunging, purblind, 
tumble-down, and run-away horses. I had lately 
an old mare, that when pressed to go a little 
out of her ordinary pace, used to make a pain- 
ful rumbling noise in the thorax, not unlike the 
working of the sucker in a dried water pump — 
the Jockies termed her a roarer. And at present 
I ride a poney — about one of the best I ever had 
— that entertains me very much in my excur- 
sions, by kicking the loose stones and pebbles 
about the turnpike ; so that if you saw it, you 
would suppose the beast was playing at foot-ball. 
I cannot omit mentioning one very queer horse 
that I had ; I sometimes think (though perhaps 
uncharitably) that its former owner must have 
loved a drop ; for it halted at every inn on the 
road, and always took time to stale before I could 
get it to budge an inch further. 

A wise man of old, who was in your line (I 
mean he was a great Inspector) said, "The 
ways of men are past finding out." Pray, Sir, 
did he allude to horse-dealers or attornies ? 

I am your obedient servant, 
O. Tofty Clappy. 


By publishing the following letter, I may per- 
haps be considered as rendering myself liable to 


that charge of inhumanity, which my correspon- 
dent himself appears to have anticipated. Should 
the allegation on which his observations are 
founded, be true, they seem entitled to conside- 
ration ; if he has erred in this respect, I shall be 
glad to assist in rectifying his misconceptions. 

To the Inspector. 

Sir, — I wish to address a few lines to the pub- 
lic, through the medium of your paper, on a sub- 
ject which has often struck me as of some impor- 
tance to the community. With the persons con- 
fined for debt in different parts of the countiy, 
and particularly at this place, it has long been 
customary, on the event of a marriage in the 
town or neighbourhood, to solicit money from the 
gentleman ; and few weeks elapse in which their 
thanks are not publicly announced in the news- 
papers to * A. B. Esq. for his kind donation of 
one guinea," or sometimes more, as the case may 
be. Were the money thus collected employed 
to alleviate the distress to which the unhappy 
persons in question are often reduced, it would 
be well bestowed : and I should be the last to 
object to what might justly be deemed an act of 
charity. But when it is known, that instead of 
relieving the wants of the necessitous, such 
bounty is commonly spent in promoting intern- 


perance and sensuality, it seems worthy the 
donor's consideration whether it might not be 
more beneficially applied, and whether there be 
not stronger claims upon his liberality, than cus- 
tom can plead in the behalf of such dissipation ? 
Imprisonment for debt, I am afraid, in almost 
eveiy case, operates so perniciously upon the 
principles of the person confined, considered as 
a member of society, that there is little occasion 
for any additional incentives to idleness and 

Probably the above observations may draw 
down upon me the charge of cruelty and inhu- 
manity. No one, however, I will venture to 
assert, feels more keenly than myself, for the 
situation of those unfortunate persons to whom 
I allude ; and if the tenor of my remarks appears 
to be at variance with this assertion, in the eyes 
of superficial observers, I would only beg them 
to recollect, that the momentary gratification of 
a few individuals ought not to be put in compe- 
tition with the welfare of society at large. I 
applaud the principle of making others partici- 
pate in our happiness — from whence the custom 
above referred to has evidently originated — and 
have no intention to set bounds to the liberality 
of my countrymen, or to dictate through what 
channels their bounty should flow. My desire 


only is, that the tribute of generosity, whether 
bestowed upon these or any other objects of pity, 
may be applied to purposes of genuine charity, 
instead of ministering to vicious indulgences. 

I am, &c. 



• Ifly 

From riot, care, intemperance, and vice ; 

And from the fountain head of all — the dice. 

The Syren's voice shall charm my ear no more ; 

With joy I quit that treach'rous fatal shore, 

Where a friend's ruin is by friends enjoy 'd, 

And ev'ry virtue is by turns destroy 'd. — Garrick. 

In my fourteenth number, I hinted that I was 
not totally unacquainted with the prevalence of 
certain vices amongst some of my townsmen. I 
hoped, indeed, that this allusion to them might 
alone have had a beneficial effect ; and was wil- 
ling to wait a little while in order to observe if 
any improvement had taken place ; — but, sorry 
to perceive no symptoms of that nature, T sat 


ruminating' on the most effectual means of 
attacking and exposing such vices, when the fol- 
lowing letter was put into my hands. As it bore 
immediate reference to the subject of my reflec- 
tions, I am induced to give it an early place, and 
submit the complaints of my fair correspondent, 
as soon as possible, to my readers. 

Mr. Inspector. 

It is with no inconsiderable diffidence that 
I venture to address myself to you, — nor am I 
certain that in so doing I do not step beyond the 
bounds of strict propriety ; my feelings, however, 
must plead my excuse, for nothing but the inti- 
mate connexion it has with my happiness could 
ever have induced me to beg your advice on the 
following affair. 

I am, Sir, a young lady of, I trust, unblemished 
reputation, and can claim tolerable pretensions 
to notice, whether from fortune, family, or edu- 
cation. My person — but why should I speak of 
that which is perhaps the cause of my present 
misfortunes ? Suffice it to say, that it attracted 
the attentions of many young men, — to none of 
whom did I pay any regard, as I found that per- 
sonal charms only were of any value in their 
estimation ; for, Sir, under the care of the best 
of parents, I had been taught to look to intellec- 


tual accomplishments for permanent happiness. 
One only youth of my acquaintance did I dis- 
tinguish for his superior taste and genius ; and 
to his marked yet delicate attentions, I could not 
long remain insensible. Nay, such either is the 
flattery of fancy, or the keen penetration ascribed 
to our sex, that I thought I perceived his partia- 
lity before he himself was conscious of it. The 
more I saw of him, the closer did his image 
become entwined round my heart. Formed for 
love, and with superior abilities, improved by a 
liberal education, he seemed to rise above the 
trifling gaieties which occupy so much of the 
time of youth. 

Whilst I have been thus diffuse, I feel a me- 
lancholy pleasure at the retracing of past scenes ; 
nor can you wonder, Sir, that his openly avowed 
affection should meet with a similar return. But, 
alas ! within these few months, what a total 
change has taken place ! Persuaded by the spe- 
cious conversation of some, and perhaps from a 
want of courage to brave the ridicule of others, 
Henry was led to the billiard table, and, elevated 
with a slight success, rapidly acquired a taste for 
that and every other destructive species of 
gaming. So deeply has this diabolical passion 
taken root in his breast, that no arguments nor 
entreaties produce more than a temporary effect ; 


the sight of a pack of cards, and the rattling of 
dice, possess irresistible attractions; and he, who 
once would have shuddered at the T3are name of 
a gamester, is now fast sinking into that debased 
and despicable character. 

When I reflect on what he was, I can scarcely 
persuade myself that such a change is possible ; 
but, alas ! I too soon am convinced of its reality. 
How tremendous must that passion be which 
can so soon destroy the fairest hopes ! Neither 
the loss of what he once most esteemed, nor the 
daily diminution of a handsome fortune, seem 
able to draw him back to the path of virtue ; I 
have therefore ventured on this method of awa- 
kening him to a sense of his danger, and entreat 
your assistance to my endeavours. 

But do not think that whilst I thus show my 
affection, I am insensible to my own situation. 
I know too well the infatuation of a confirmed 
gamester, ever to unite my fate with his ; and 
should this attempt fail, I will strive to forget 
him, nor suffer my heart to entertain a thought 
of one so unworthy. Many of your former num- 
bers we have read together with pleasure ; and I 
do still indulge some hopes that this letter will 
excite the dormant sparks of virtue, and restore 

him to happiness and his once loved 



Such of my readers as have never witnessed 
the direful effects of a love of play, may be dis- 
posed to think the above character rather exag- 
gerated. I have no doubt, however, of the truth 
of Sophia's observations, and sincerely wish that 
her letter, which will probably fall under the eye 
of him for whom it is intended, may restore the 
deluded youth to his rank in society. It evinces 
at once such sincere afTection and sound under- 
standing as will, I hope, have the desired effect ; 
but should it fail, I can only advise her to pursue 
her determination, and forget that he ever existed. 

It does indeed to me appear strange, that so 
unmeaning a vice as gaming should ever engross 
the attention of a reasonable and immortal being. 
It is an acquired vice ; no natural passion can 
be pleaded in its defence ; and yet certain it is, 
that none other has so unlimited a sway where 
once it obtains admission. Nor is the case before 
ns singular, in that the unhappy object possesses 
talents worthy of a better fate. The endowments 
of sense, and the pride of learning, are alike 
insufficient to save the man who comes within 
its destructive vortex ; to religion alone belongs 
that power. To sum up its general character in 
the forcible language of Garrick : " The passion 
of gaming is not to be conquered even by the 
best understandings ; it is an absolute whirlpool ; 


wit, sense, love, friendship, and every virtue, are 
merely leaves and straws that float upon the sur- 
face of the tide ; which, as they approach this 
gulf, are all drawn in, and sink to the bottom, as 
if they had never been." 

Gaming 1 has, by some author, been denned to 
be a tacit confession of ruin, by drawing lots, as 
it were, on whom the ruin should first fall. It 
has therefore been forbidden by the wisest legis- 
lators, and in agricultural countries; but in a 
land like ours, and especially in such a town as 
this, supported by trade, the bare knowledge of 
such a vice is pregnant with innumerable mis- 
chiefs. How can the adventurous merchant pru- 
dently trust his property in the hands of any 
person who is known to squander away his 
money and his time at play ? The good faith, so 
essential to commercial dealings, and therewith 
one grand support of our nation, is daily under- 
mined by this fashionable pursuit. It destroys 
every sentiment of real honour, and substitutes in 
its place a fictitious semblance, — possessed of 
which, a man may defraud his creditors, debauch 
his neighbour's wife, and murder his friend, yet 
appear at the midnight gaming table, and be 
proclaimed to the world as a man of honour. 

It is not possible to conceive a more despicable 
existence than that of such as are thus wretchedly 


miscalled men of honour. True it is, that these 
characters are most frequently to be found 
amongst persons whose birth and fortune place 
them in the highest ranks of life ; yet we are not 
without many recent instances in a lower sphere. 
So rapid indeed is the contagion of this vice, and 
so prone are the lowest orders to imitate their 
superiors, that it is nothing uncommon to see the 
labouring mechanic spend his evenings and his 
Sabbaths m drunkenness, and risque his hard- 
earned gains on the throwing of a halfpenny. 
The consequences of gaming, in a mercantile 
community, are so dreadful, and, I fear, its pre- 
valence amongst us so increasing, that I cannot 
conclude without again adverting to them, and 
intreating the watchfulness of my readers against 
the admission of so destructive a vice. The in- 
dulgence of j)lay, even for small sums, is calcu- 
lated to inflame the worst passions of our nature ; 
and although many never overstep the limits of 
their circumstances, yet I would have it remem- 
bered, that the most determined love of gaming 
had once only a slight beginning, and gradually 
increased, until overthrowing the barriers of pru- 
dence, it, like the winter's torrent, bore down 
every virtue along with it, and buried them 
together in one undistinguished mass of ruin. 




Think nought a trifle, though it small appear ; 
Small sands the mountain, moments make the year, 
And trifles life. Your care to trifles give ; 
Or you may die, before you truly live.— Young. 

Most nations are in possession of a variety of 
proverbs, handed down by tradition, and com- 
prising directions for the regulation of the con- 
duct and pursuits of mankind. These precepts 
are often highly honourable to the sagacity of 
the first promulgers ; and perhaps better calcu- 
lated to produce beneficial effects upon the minds 
of the commonalty than elaborate dissertations on 
the same topics. Their brevity facilitates their 
commitment to memory; and the terse expres- 
sions in which they are couched, render them 
easy to be recollected. In those writings of an- 
tiquity which have escaped the ravages of time, 
many specimens of this mode of instruction 
occur. Sacred writ brings us acquainted with 
the Proverbs of Solomon, abounding with useful 
information, and lessons of practical wisdom. 
So well convinced were the ancient Greeks of 
the utility of proverbial maxims, that seven men, 


whose superior abilities obtained them the title 
of the seven sages of Greece, left each of them 
one or more of these maxims, as a legacy to pos- 
terity ; and perhaps it is chiefly owing to this 
circumstance, that their names are yet held in 
common remembrance. — We might indeed be 
led to infer, from this honourable appellation 
being confined to so small a number of persons, 
that a scarcity either of wise men or of proverbs, 
existed in that country ; but innumerable proofs 
of the contrary are extant. In regard to the lat- 
ter point, many expressions occur in the works 
of Hesiod, which critics are clearly of opinion 
belong to this class. Several others of the poets, 
and Euripides in particular, abound with pas- 
sages of a similar nature. From the last named 
author, St. Paul, it is well known, borrowed the 
adage of " Evil communications corrupt good 
manners," which thus comes to us enforced by 
the sanction of apostolical authority. Plutarch 
furnishes an abundance of short maxims and 
sentiments, uttered by those eminent characters 
whose lives he has recorded, and which were 
perhaps transmitted to the period in which he 
lived, in consequence of their having assumed a 
proverbial form. 

Since the invention of printing, and the con- 
sequent diffusion of learning, proverbs have de- 


clined in estimation ; and instead of being care- 
fully handed down by tradition, many of them 
are at present only known by the care with 
which they have been treasured up in the repo- 
sitories of curious collectors. In the romance of 
Don Quixote, Cervantes has immortalized several 
of the Spanish proverbs. The burlesque and 
ludicrous manner in which they are introduced by 
Sancho, has thrown over them an irresistible air 
of ridicule ; and as the adventures of the Knight 
of La Mancha have often been supposed to have 
produced a considerable change in the Spanish 
character, the above circumstance may also have 
materially aided that effect, especially among the 
middling and lower classes. 

In our own island, a variety of proverbs are 
yet transmitted from father to son, although 
they are becoming fewer in every generation, 
owing partly, perhaps, to the same prevalent 
love of amplification, in preference to senten- 
tious brevity, that encourages the manufacture 
of a ponderous quarto volume out of the mate- 
rials of a slender duodecimo. — Allan Ramsay 
has left us a collection of Scotch proverbs ; seve- 
ral of them, however, unsuited to the delicacy of 
a more refined age. To the celebrated naturalist 
Ray, we are indebted for a variety of English 
ones ; the greater part of which are now r fallen 


into disuse. Dr. Franklin, in his Pennsylvanian 
Almanack, gave currency to a great number ; 
and the " sayings of poor old Richard" (often 
re-printed in this country) have been frequently 
retailed in humble life, and, I hope, adopted as 
principles of action by my countrymen. Indeed 
proverbial sayings, wherever in use, are in general 
among the first lessons imbibed by youth ; and 
as the sentiments which recur most frequently to 
our remembrance, commonly possess the greatest 
influence over our minds and actions, so the 
maxims that we have been accustomed to hear 
and repeat from early age, may justly be expected 
to operate with considerable effect, in forming 
the character and influencing the behaviour. 
Our English proverb of " Learning is better than 
house and land," has doubtless been the remote 
cause of many persons reaching a degree of lite- 
rary eminence which they would otherwise never 
have attained. In my opinion, we may, without 
outraging probability, trace to this source the 
origin of the Novum Organum of Bacon, the 
Principia of Newton, and the Essay on the Human 
Understanding of Locke. If I might be permitted 
to adopt that figure of rhetoric called anti climax, 
I would add, that should any of my readers 
derive either amusement or instruction from the 
Inspector, they are in all likelihood indebted for 


it to my grandmother's repetition of this sage 
maxim. No man was better qualified than Dr. 
Franklin to appreciate the modes of conveying 
instruction to the great mass of mankind ; and 
his adoption of proverbs, for this purpose, is alone 
sufficient to stamp a value upon them. Among 
those which he has communicated in the work 
before mentioned, there is one so extremely impor- 
tant and of such extensive application, that with 
a few observations upon it I shall conclude the 
present paper. 

" Take care of the pence ; the pounds will take 
care of themselves ;" in its literal sense is confi- 
ned to pecuniary affairs ; and even in this light 
alone will be found deserving of attention. The 
necessity of that strict economy in small things, 
especially at our first setting out in life, which 
it inculcates, will be obvious to every person 
acquainted with the world. Poverty and distress 
are seldom the effects of single instances of ex- 
traordinary profusion ; but commonly originate 
in inattention to what are deemed, comparatively 
speaking, petty expenses ; " expenses that singly 
(to use the language of our great moralist) are 
not sufficient to alarm our caution, but the ag- 
gregate of which will generally be found far to 
exceed our expectations." A man whose cir- 
cumstances are not quite independent, would 


doubtless use some consideration before he sacri- 
ficed ten or twenty pounds to an object wherein 
he was not materially interested ; but such a one 
will often throw away a few shillings upon tri- 
fles, and that daily, without reflecting upon the 
relation that shillings bear to pounds. I am far 
from wishing to inculcate an ungenerous or ava- 
ricious parsimony ; but when the complicated 
evils, arising from a want of circumspection in 
these particulars, are taken into consideration, 
the propriety of adhering to the directions of the 
proverb cannot fail to carry conviction to every 
man's mind, unless he is rendered callous by long 
acquiescence in confirmed habits of heedlessness 
and profusion. 

But it is not solely the literal observance of the 
proverb, that I wish to enforce upon my readers. 
I am desirous that they should carry the princi- 
ple of it into every department of life, and learn 
from thence to appreciate aright the value of 
things that we are too apt to consider as trifles. 
In other concerns, as well as in matters of a pecu- 
niary nature, objects of transcendent importance 
will generally force themselves upon our atten- 
tion ; whilst those which seem to be of less con- 
sequence, although they are equally indispensa- 
ble to the promotion of our true interests and 
happiness, are suffered to pass unregarded. This 


will be found particularly to be the case, where- 
ever morality is concerned, unless all distinctions 
between virtue and vice are set at nought. No 
tradesman, for instance, who is not totally devoid 
of principle, will have recourse to swindling, or 
endeavour to increase his wealth by open vio- 
lence or dishonesty ; but many will feel no 
qualms of conscience in attempting to overreach 
a customer in the ivay of business, or in puffing 
off their merchandize with eulogiums, of the fal- 
sity of which they must be thoroughly convinced. 
The man whose detestation of the crime of adul- 
tery is so great that no inducement would lead 
him to commit it, will yet treat the wife of his 
bosom with coldness and disrespect; he would 
scorn to use such conduct towards her, as, in the 
estimation of the world, would rank him as a 
bad husband ; but he will harass her with re- 
peated bursts^ of petulance and querulousness, 
and thus, with the greatest indifference, plant 
daggers in the heart of her whom he has sworn 
to love and cherish. Many wives also, would be 
shocked at the idea of defiling the marriage bed, 
who are, notwithstanding, too careless about pre- 
serving the good opinion of their husbands, and 
think complacency and readiness to oblige, trifles 
scarcely deserving of their attention. Should 
what they have been taught to consider as inno- 


cent freedoms, unfortunately kindle suspicion 
and jealousy, they will hold themselves acquitted 
to the world and their own consciences, if no act 
of gross criminality has been committed. Ex- 
travagance, idleness, or a want of cleanliness, are 
evils which a good housewife will view with be- 
coming abhorrence ; but to ward off those little 
vexations which are continually occurring, — to 
maintain that habitual cheerfulness, that equa- 
nimity of temper, which is so conducive to com- 
fort and happiness, — these are the pence which 
require to be taken care of; the more important 
objects, the pounds, will take care of themselves. 
Indeed if we examine closely the evils of social 
life, I believe it will appear, that they commonly 
originate in things which were at first thought to 
be beneath notice. An anecdote is related of a 
Count of Flanders, who was accustomed to amuse 
himself in playing at chess with his wife ; the 
latter frequently beat him. This circumstance 
was suffered to irritate his temper, — which, by 
degrees, was productive of a similar irritation on 
her part ; a mutual hatred arose between them, 
insomuch that when he was taken prisoner in 
battle, she let him remain a long time in con- 
finement, though she could easily have procured 
his release. Many instances of connubial un- 
happiness, I am persuaded, have originated in 


causes equally trivial, when more serious provo- 
cations would have been effectually guarded 

In the other branches of family connexions, the 
same necessity for attending to objects of a secon- 
dary nature exists. Many parents consider 
themselves guilty of a gross breach of duty, if 
they neglect any means of acquiring wealth for 
their children ; and yet, whilst intent upon what 
is considered the main chance, pay little regard 
to their personal feelings, or to those peculiar 
circumstances with which the happiness of the 
individual is intimately connected. On the other 
hand, too, many children may be found, who 
would not willingly, in any important point, 
contravene the opinion of their parents, nor act in 
determined opposition thereto, who are notwith- 
standing, very indifferent whether they please or 
not, in things which they themselves deem of 
little moment. Masters and mistresses, also, are 
frequently inattentive to the spirit of the precept 
I am enforcing. Their minds would revolt at 
the gross infringement of those rights and privi- 
leges which even servants are allowed to possess. 
To treat them with brutal ferocity, or harass 
them by requiring more at their hands than can 
be reasonably expected, would be justly consi- 
dered as a breach of duty. But that kind fami- 
liar treatment, that attention to their comfort 


and happiness, that forgiveness of involuntary 
error, which alleviates the hardships of a sub- 
ordinate situation, is administered with a sparing 
hand, if not totally forgotten. 

In addition to what has already been said, I 
shall only at present observe, that in our general 
intercourse with mankind we shall find, that our 
favourable reception will commonly be found to 
depend less upon the possession of pre-eminent 
acquirements, than upon the operation of quali- 
ties of a more humble nature. Few persons, for 
instance, are capable of procuring universal 
esteem by the extent of their learning, the brilli- 
ancy of their wit, or the superiority of their un- 
derstanding. These indeed will always excite a 
portion of respect ; but if they are not combined 
with what have been denominated the lesser 
morals, — if humility, good nature, and affability 
are wanting, aversion and disgust will in general 
succeed ; whilst the possessor of the latter quali- 
ties, although inferior in wit, in learning, or even 
in wisdom, finds a ready passport into every 
company. The consciousness of superior talents 
will, for the most part, induce the owner to cuk 
tivate the influence naturally resulting from 
them ; though often at the expense of every other 
accomplishment. The pounds will thus be taken 
care of, but the pence will be left to take care of 



He stands upon a dangerous brink, 

Who totters o'er the sea of ink ■ 

Where reputation runs aground. 

The author cast away, and drown'd I 

Not such alone who understand, 

Whose book and memory are at hand ; 

Who scientific skill profess, 

And are great adepts, more or less ; 

Not these alone in judgment rise, 

And shoot at genius as it flies ; 

But those who cannot spell will talk; 

As women scold who cannot w>a/£.— Lloyd. 

Since the commencement of these my perio- 
dical labours, I have had occasion to admire the 
profound sagacity of Walter Shandy, Esq. and 
am almost a convert to his opinion, that a large 
portion of our good or bad fortune in the world 
depends upon the assumption of a propitious 
or unpropitious name. Not that my own choice 
was either made without giving the subject all 
due and solemn consideration, or that it was not 
perfectly consonant to the nature of the objects I 
had in view. Several of my readers, however, 
declare, that under a different appellation, they 


would have taken up my writings with more plea- 
sure. The Tatler, for instance, or the Tell Tale, 
or the Trifler, or the Babbler, or the Quizzer, 
would, as I am informed, have excited a degree 
of curiosity greatly to my advantage. People 
then would have been induced more generally to 
read my lucubrations, under an idea of meeting 
with a good deal of private anecdote, inuendoes, 
scandal, libelling, lampooning, or quizzing ; all of 
which, I am told, are ingredients highly neces- 
sary for stimulating the intellectual appetite, — 
now almost sinking into a state of satiety. Some 
of these titles, however, have often been adopted ; 
and, independently of this consideration, I am 
sensible that I want the requisite qualifications 
for fulfilling the task which would have been 
demanded at my hands. Again, many I am 
told, are afraid of reading my papers lest they 
should find their own characters inspected rather 
too closely ; but as this could only spring from a 
consciousness that the figure they were likely to 
make in such an exhibition, would not be alto- 
gether what they could wish, the number of these 
persons, I hope, is but few. There are others 
who, considering the word Inspector as syno- 
nymous with Spy, are, out of their abundant 
loyalty, suspicious of my political principles, and 
scrutinize my writings with extreme jealousy, lest, 


in this critical state of our affairs, I should dis- 
close any thing which might subserve the views 
of our enemies. Nay, in some parts of the coun- 
try, I find I have been less popular than I really 
think I have deserved to be, in consequence of 
an opinion in circulation, that I am the Inspec- 
tor of Taxes, alias the Window Peeper. To 
quiet the alarms of these good folks, I will solemnly 
assure them> that, notwithstanding I have now 
employed my talents upwards of twelve months, 
in the cause of the public, Government has not 
thought fit to compensate my services, by ap- 
pointing me to even that humble situation ; and 
consequently, that if I cannot give them any 
additional light, I have no interest in plunging 
them into greater darkness. 

These are a few of the mortifications to which 
my choice of a title has subjected me. My man- 
ner of writing has been productive of many 
others. In more than one company, where I was 
not personally known, I have heard myself accu- 
sed of being a fanatic, merely because some of 
my papers were deemed too rigid in their mora- 
lity ; and that I had once or twice given extracts 
from sermons, in corroboration of my sentiments. 
On the other hand, I find that I have irrecover- 
ably lost the favour of some professedly serious 
people, on account of having occasionally excited 
a a 


a laugh, and rendered absurdity ridiculous ; and 
for that, on the clearest evidence, I have been 
convicted of reading Don Quixote, and quoting 
Shakspeare. Whether I possessed sufficient phi- 
losophy to hear unmoved these weighty allega- 
tions, is a question which I am not obliged to 
answer ; but I confess that I have experienced 
some little pleasure at finding myself subjected 
to such contradictory charges, which I am in- 
clined to consider as no slight proof of the won- 
derful versatility and successful application of 
my talents. Other sources of gratification have 
not been wanting. A little incident occurred a 
few days ago, which, as it went to prove that my 
fame was considerably extended, was the cause 
of no little self-gratulation to me. — An elderly 
woman of decent appearance called at my lodg- 
ings, and with great deference informed me, that 
my character for wisdom was so high in her 
neighbourhood, that she had come many miles 
to solicit my advice. Such an able exordium 
produced its natural effect. I was almost temp- 
ted to set her down for another Queen of Sheba, 
and myself for a second Solomon. I wish I 
could close the story here, but truth compels me 
to relate the sequel. It appeared that our ideas 
of a wise man differed greatly. On inquiry I 
found that she had been robbed of the greatest 


part of her property, and wanted me to point out 
the thief. To my great mortification, I was 
obliged to confess that this was beyond my 
powers. My visitor left me, much dissatisfied 
with my answer, — and, I dare say, fully convin- 
ced that, whatever I might be in other respects, 
T was, at least, no conjuror. 

Some of my correspondents have favoured me 
with communications intended by them for 
insertion in the Inspector, — and, in the intro- 
duction to which, they praise my labours so 
highly, that I must have felt exceedingly proud, 
had it not occurred to me that these commen- 
dations were probably meant to mislead my 
judgment, and induce me to give a place to arti- 
cles, which, without such seasoning might have 
been rejected. In order to take away all temp- 
tation to such practices in future, I think it best 
to give this public notice to all whom it may 
concern, that I am perfectly aware of the great 
extent of my knowledge, the force of my reason- 
ing, the keenness of my wit, and the elegance of 
my style. I cannot therefore promise to insert 
any letters or papers which have little other 
merit to plead than that of giving me information 
of what I am previously so well acquainted with. 
Others of my correspondents have yielded me far 
greater pleasure — that of believing my writings 


have already been, and in all probability may be 
still further, productive of essential benefit. One 
young man in particular, in terms that breathe 
his sincerity and openness, expresses his obliga- 
tions to me for a paper on the tendency of 
gaming, — which has contributed to wean him 
from the love of play, and strengthened his resolu- 
tions to avoid, in future, that pernicious vice, in 
the vortex of which he was nearly involved. 
Several writers have also frankly disclosed to me, 
as a warning to others, the errors of their own 
conduct, and the consequent loss of peace and 
happiness which they have sustained. I pur- 
pose making such use of their information, occa- 
sionally, as appears to me best adapted for pro- 
moting the end in view. One of the many 
letters, of this nature, which have come to my 
hand, I shall subjoin, in compliance with the 
wishes of the fair writer. 

To the Inspector. 

Sir — As I consider your periodical numbers 
calculated to produce very good effects upon the 
public, I should be glad if you would exercise 
your talents, in order to alleviate the evils of 
which I am about to complain. One of your 
late correspondents, Mr. Softly, has been a little 
severe upon our sex. I will not say he is alto- 


gether in the wrong, yet I cannot but think he 
has carried the matter rather too far ; however, 
be that as it may, I think I can pourtray a cha- 
racter infinitely more offensive than poor Mrs. 
Softly. In my youth, I was rather partial to 
novels, and perused with avidity every publica- 
tion of the kind which I could procure ; and, as 
there is no scarcity of this commodity, I will 
confess my head was tolerably well stored with 
high flown descriptions of the marriage state. 
In short, I resolved to avail myself of the first 
opportunity of becoming a wife. Tom Thought- 
less vowed eternal love ; I listened to his pro- 
testations, — and, in the very short space of a 
month, accompanied him to the altar of Hymen. 
I (like many other deluded damsels) fondly ima- 
gined that my husband would always be the 
same good creature I had ever thought him — and 
that I should taste the purest happiness ; and 
as I really loved him better than any one else, 
I endeavoured to please him by every means I 
could devise. I dressed well, saw good company, 
and was never averse to attend him to any place 
of fashionable resort. We pursued this mode of 
life for some time, until I began to be a little 
satiated with it, and submitted to my husband 
the propriety of our beginning to be a little more 
domestic, and that I conceived we ought to omit 


seeing company on the Sundays, as by this means 
we were preventing our servants from properly 
observing the religious duties of that day. — Alas! 
little did I think of the impending storm. My 
loving spouse swore and stamped, and declared 
that retirement was his utter aversion — that I was 
in danger of Methodism, and of becoming the 
greatest mope in the world ; that he should soon 
be ashamed of such a wife, and that he always 
would spend his time in the manner most con- 
genial to his taste. I was awed to silence: I 
had vowed to obey, and found resistance would 
be in vain. But this first quarrel has been pro- 
ductive of painful consequences. My husband 
generally spends his evenings at some club or 
tavern,— and from the society he has there met 
with, has contracted a love of gaming ; he returns 
home, gloomy and discontented; the smiles of 
his wife have no charms for him ; his children 
are neglected, his affairs deranged, — and, in 
short, his temper has become violent and over- 
bearing. Finding my late dreams of happiness 
vanished, and my peace of mind broken, I have 
resolved to use all the means in my power to 
reclaim him ; and, in order to effect this refor- 
mation, I request your aid and assistance, — being 
also in bopes that my melancholy fate may 
prove a warning to your fair readers, and induce 


them to prefer, in their choice of a companion for 
life, the man of sound sense and solid piety, to 
the gay votary of vice and dissipation, 
I am, Sir, with respect, 

Your constant reader, 
Lydia Thoughtless, 


We are polish'd all! ********* 
********** The fashion runs 
Down into scenes still rural ; but, alas ! 
Scenes rarely graced with rural manners now ! — Cowper, 

Among the various changes which have taken 
place in society, in this kingdom, during the last 
century, none is more striking than the great 
increase of politeness, especially as manifested in 
the prevalent modes of address. About a hun- 
dred years ago, a celebrated writer classed our 
countrymen under the two heads of gentlemen 
and mechanics. At present, these classes appear 
to be intimately blended ; and no peculiar marks 
remain by which such a distinction as the above- 
named author intimates, can be clearly conveyed. 


Our gentlemen, indeed, may not all be mecha- 
nics ; but our mechanics are all gentlemen. W e 
have not only gentlemen of quality and of for- 
tune, but gentlemen of the turf, alias blacklegged 
gentlemen ; gentlemen farmers, gentlemen of the 
brush, and gentlemen of the thimble. Formerly 
Mister used to be the appropriate designation of 
gentility, and the christian name that of mecha- 
nics ; at present, the latter is so rarely used in 
company, that a stranger to our manners, who 
considered it as a distinguishing mark of Chris- 
tianity, would be apt to infer that we had no 
religion at all. With regard to the word Mister, 
on the other hand, it is become a common appen- 
dage to every person, from the man of ten thou- 
sand a year to the driver of a dust cart. A 
striking fact, in proof of the pertinacity with 
which this polite epithet is claimed in the hum- 
bler situations of life, lately came to my know- 
ledge. A shoe-black, who had been about a 
week in the service of a friend of mine, one morn- 
ing entered his chamber, with a look of solemnity 
and importance, and hoped he had approved 
himself to his master's satisfaction. " Perfectly 
so, Tom," was the reply. Tom, with many bows 
and scrapes, acknowledged the goodness of my 
friend's place ; but added, that he must beg 
leave to give him warning, unless the rest of the 


•servants were ordered in future to call him no 
more plain Thomas, but Mister. 

These innovations have not been confined to 
the male part of the community. It is almost as 
uncommon to meet with a woman who is not a 
lady, as with a man who is not & gentleman. The 
race of old women, who, if I recollect aright, were 
pretty numerous in my younger years, is now 
totally extinct. Even the name itself, by long 
disuse, has lost its original signification ; and we 
now never hear it mentioned, unless when applied 
to some person, frequently of the male sex, of 
whose understanding we do not entertain a very 
high opinion. The old dame, under whose tui- 
tion I imbibed the rudiments of learning, was 
almost the last person whom [ recollect bearing 
that title. Every teacher of a school for two- 
pence a week, is now a governess. A dame, in 
reference to the head of a family, is now become 
obsolete, and instead thereof, Mistress, or the 
diminutive Miss, is generally adopted. Our 
women of quality have given place to ladies of 
quality; our country gentlewomen to country 
ladies ; even women of the town, to whom a still 
more homely appellation was formerly applied, 
are metamorphosed into ladies of pleasure. The 
char- women, washer- women, and some few others 
of such like occupations, have hitherto been hin- 



dered from participating in the honours of their sex; 
but I understand they have presented a petition 
of rigJit to the Herald's office, and, if their request 
is not granted, mean to solicit that, at any rate, 
a new title be invented for their exclusive use. 
With the trifling exception of these classes, I 
understand it has been determined in a solemn 
court of privileges, that all females of whatever 
rank or description, are in future to be deemed 
ladies, by the courtesy of England ; and, as far 
as I am capable of judging, although they have 
no seat in the Senate, are likely to be as tenaci- 
ous of their rights and honours as any member 
either of the Lords or Commons. A few 
days ago, I happened to follow two of the fair 
sex along the street, and heard them loudly ex- 
claiming against the mercer whose shop they had 
just left. "How shockingly impolite, Miss! 
how vastly ungenteel !" " Yes, indeed, Ma'am ! 
never saw the like on't ! — ' John, wait upon these 
young women, might very well have been ' John, 
wait upon these young ladies !' " My curiosity 
was excited to know who these young ladies could 
be ; and on passing them it was fully gratified. 
The mother of one of them, I found, kept a green 
stall ; and in the other, I recognised the daugh- 
ter of my own barber. 
Without informing my readers what claims to 


gentility I myself possess, I must confess that I 
have often wondered whence this indiscriminate 
use of its appellations can have originated. An 
acquaintance of mine, of a satirical turn of 
mind, attempts to persuade me that he has dis- 
covered the cause. He attributes it to the con- 
duct of those persons, who, born to the possession 
of the rights and immunities formerly attached 
exclusively to rank and fortune, have condes- 
cended to throw down the barrier, and given 
their inferiors an opportunity of equalling, and 
even surpassing, their own acquirements. When 
gentility, for instance, was apparently made by 
such persons, to consist in a few frivolous obser- 
vances, and mere modes of external politeness, 
easily to be copied ; in the unbridled indulgence 
of the sensual appetites, and in contending for 
the palm of excellence in the lowest pursuits and 
recreations of the vulgar, — it might, he observes, 
be expected, that the latter were fully qualified 
to participate in its titles and honours. How far 
his theory is founded upon fact, I leave others 
to determine. Admitting his premises to be true, 
his conclusion seems perfectly just ; the vulgar 
are certainly better fitted to excel in many of 
these respects than their superiors ; and conse- 
quently have an equal if not a greater claim to 
such honours and distinctions as may thence 


But whatever may have been the cause of this 
promiscuous use of the titles above alluded to, I 
believe any attempt to abolish it utterly, would 
be at present an impracticable, and probably a 
pernicious undertaking. Under this impression, 
I purpose to give a few directions, — on a proper 
attention to which, I will allow the lower classes 
of society as full and perfect a right to the free 
use and enjoyment of the words ladies, gentle- 
men, mistress, miss, and mister, as any other 
persons of what rank or order soever. 

In the first place, I shall lay it down as a fun- 
damental doctrine, that the cultivation of our 
rational faculties, so far as every person^ oppor- 
tunities will respectively admit, is a genuine 
source of honour and distinction. A coronet 
on the brow of ignorance and vice, confers 
little more real title to respect, in the eye of 
reason, than the cap and bells of folly would in 
the same situation. An accurate knowledge of 
the duties incumbent upon us in every station of 
life, and an unremitting endeavour to fulfil them ; 
a strict adherence to justice and honesty in all 
our dealings ; the cultivation of a charitable and 
benevolent spirit, ever prompt to relieve the 
afflicted and distressed ; the exercise of the social 
affections ; and a predominant desire to promote 
the comfort and happiness of all around us ; — 
these are the qualifications which I would point 


out as indispensably necessary, for every person 
who wishes to substantiate a claim to the 
appellations usually annexed to gentility. These 
attainments are within the reach of the poor 
as well as the rich ; and are entitled to a 
degree of respect, greater and better merited 
than wealth and noble blood without them. A 
man may be descended from the Howards, rich 
as Croesus, learned as Bacon, polite as Chester- 
field, and yet want those accomplishments which 
alone can constitute the real gentleman. On this 
part of my subject, I shall beg leave to introduce 
a quotation from an oration delivered at Athens, 
by Isoc rates, 2200 years ago. 

" Whom shall I term a gentleman, when I deny that the 
arts, the sciences, and the exercises can alone constitute that 
character? — Why, above these, and every thing else, the man 
who becomingly attends to each incident of the day; whose 
opinion liberally and without prejudice directs his judgment 
on each business and event ; and who in every relative situa- 
tion acts most justly as well as expediently ; — who, in his 
daily intercourse with mankind, gives his behaviour the 
grace of decency and good breeding, and his conduct the 
force and simplicity of morality and justice ; — who bears with 
the rudeness and impertinence of others, and reprobates them 
only by a contrast of more engaging manners ; — who com- 
mands his pleasures, and not his pleasures him ; and is 
therein abstinent, or not so wholly taken up with them as to 
lapse unwarily beneath the level of manly conduct, and of 
that moderation in the use of them which is suitable to the 


dignity of human nature ; — and (which is most of all) who 
is never depressed immoderately by misfortune, and who 
never insults society by too exulting gaiety in success ; but 
seems as little elate with the gifts of fortune as with the 
endowments of mind wheh he possesses." 

Should the wealthy and the noble take offence 
at my allowing persons in humble life, thus qua- 
lified, to retain possession of the rights and pri- 
vileges of ladies and gentlemen, I would humbly 
beg leave to point out a way to them, whereby 
their advantages, in regard to birth and fortune, 
may enable them to attain a still more honoura- 
ble title, — that of fine ladies and fine gentlemen. 
I shall conclude with a specimen of the acquire- 
ments requisite in the latter character, quoted 
from the author to whom I have alluded in the 
beginning of this paper. 

" When I view the fine gentleman with regard to his 
manners, methinks I see him modest without bashfulncss, 
frank and affable without impertinence, obliging and com- 
plaisant without servility, cheerful and in good humour with- 
out noise. Before he makes his appearance, and shines in the 
world, he must be principled in religion, instructed in all the 
moral virtues, and led through the whole course of the polite 
arts and sciences. He should be no stranger to courts and 
to camps ; he must travel to open his mind, to enlarge his 
views, to learn the policies and interests of foreign states, as 
well as to fashion and polish himself, and to get clear of na- 
tional prejudices, of which every country has its share. To 
all these more essential improvements, he must not forget to 


add the fashionable ornaments of life. It is no very uncom- 
mon thing in the world to meet with men of probity ; there 
are likewise a great many men of honour to be found ; men 
of courage, men of sense, and men of letters, are frequent : 
but a true fine gentleman is what one seldom sees ; he is 
properly a compound of the various good qualities that em- 
bellish mankind," 


" Order is Heaven's first law." — Pope. 

To the Inspector. 

Sir, — Being frequently amused and enter- 
tained with your lucubrations, I take the liberty 
of presenting the public, through the medium of 
your paper, with a few desultory thoughts on a 
subject which has a close and intimate connection 
with our happiness. The gayest spirits have their 
serious moments, and in these the votaries of dis- 
sipation may be frequently heard to complain of 
the mutability and inequalities of our condition, 
and the general shortness of human life. Short 
indeed ! at its longest period ; but how frequently 
made shorter by the negligence of our habits, 
and the ruinous and destructive tendency of our 


vices. The most rigid philosophical investiga- 
tion of the situation and connexions of human 
nature, proves, beyond all doubt, the first principle 
of all religion, which is, that man is placed in 
this world in a state of trial and probation ; and 
that he is responsible to the ruler of the world, 
for his conduct in it. Now considering the vast 
importance of time, the many mighty effects 
which it produces, and the important conse- 
quences which result from a proper or improper 
mode of employing it, nothing appears more wor- 
thy of our attention than a well-digested general 
plan of regulating our multifarious occupations. 
To live without rule or method, is to live in con- 
fusion or disorder. The present hour will be 
occupied with what ought to have been done the 
last; many of our duties will be entirely neg- 
lected ; and the rest performed at such a time, 
and in such a manner, as is the least favourable 
for giving efficacy and vigour to our conduct. 
There is an elegant correctness of action, to which 
every one ought to aspire that wishes to live 
really respectable in his own eyes, and also in 
the opinion of the world. To live without a wish 
of this kind, is a token of the completest depra- 
vity ; while to have the wish, and yet to neglect 
the means of accomplishing it, when they are so 
much in our own power, must certainly originate 


in a wretched imbecility pf character, which must 
always make a man ridiculous, and will most 
assuredly render him miserable. 

The different wants of society require a great 
variety in the service of its members. All are 
not called upon to govern and take the helm of 
power ; nor are all men capable of doing so. 
We are evidently formed for social life, and des- 
tined to act in reference to the necessities, the 
employments, and the pleasures of others. And 
nature has wisely adapted the constitutional pe- 
culiarities of man to his circumstances. His in- 
finitely variegated talents correspond with the 
duties of his situation. 

With wise intent, 
The hand of nature on peculiar minds 
Imprints a different bias, and to each 
Decrees its province in the common toil. 

In the eye of reason, all stations may be con- 
sidered as being upon a natural equality ; and, 
however the prejudices of some may be shocked 
by the proposition, it is capable of clear demon- 
stration on principles of the soundest philosophy. 
It is our passions, not nature, that constitute the 
difference. Some situations, we grant, have a 
greater and more extensive influence on the po- 
litical interest of society than others ; yet " let 
c c 



not the eye say to either the hand or the foot, I 
have no need of thee." In a moral point of view, 
we contend, without admitting any exceptions, 
that he who fills the lowest offices of society 
with faithfulness, however he may be overlooked 
amid the false glare of meretricious grandeur, is 
as essentially valuable a link, in the great chain 
of the community, as he who fills the highest. 
It is, perhaps, owing in a great measure to our 
vanity, that we are so apt to complain of our own 
condition in the actual constitution of society. 
It is our offended pride that is perpetually ob- 
jecting that places of honour are monopolized 
by weakness and insignificance. The truth pro- 
bably is, that the world is not quite so unjust as 
such objectors pretend. If mental strength and 
energy are sometimes seen to stagnate and lan- 
guish, in situations that allow no scope for exer- 
tion, their neglect, it is not impossible, may be 
owing to some evident obliquity of character, 
which, in the natural course of things, might 
render their promotion an act of public injustice. 
I pretend not that the organization of society is 
perfect, nor that it does not admit of very con- 
siderable amelioration and improvement. But 
whatever defects may be observed in it, we have 
no just grounds for petulant complaint; as there 
does not exist any prescription, by which 


a man's attainments in life are bounded by the 
circumstances in which he is born. His per- 
sonal character and condition have a reciprocal 
action on each other. By folly, some are redu- 
ced from ease and affluence to penury and want ; 
and we are not without numerous instances, in 
which, by a contrary conduct, others have ad- 
vanced from small beginnings to a pre-eminence 
in dignity and honour. Were we possessed of 
a more minute acquaintance with all the various 
circumstances that act upon a man's condition, 
we probably should be fully satisfied, that intel- 
lectual capacity, when joined with industry and 
good conduct, will always attain to that respec- 
tability in life to which it is entitled on the 
ground of genuine merit. 

What is the result ? Every man has duties 
which it is creditable to discharge, and which it 
is disgraceful and ruinous to neglect. Our 
Maker claims our first and supreme attention ; 
society has its manifold demands upon us ; and 
we have many obligations in reference to our 
own personal feelings and character. The ab- 
surdity and folly of irreligion, may be reserved 
as the subject of another paper ; and the present 
one shall be concluded by recurring to the prin- 
ciple with which I set out. If the various rami- 
fications of social duty are considered, as well as 


the consequences which are appended to it, it 
will appear that every man has an interest in 
inquiring after the most effectual mode of dis- 
charging it. Now that the principle of order, 
when carried into the various divisions of our 
conduct, will most essentially contribute thereto, 
is very evident. Regularity is the great basis of 
social happiness; and its effects upon our per- 
sonal enjoyments are incalculable. When this 
pervades the character, we may anticipate 
every thing great and valuable from the man. It 
is connected with every virtue, and with every 
excellence ; while, on the contrary, there is not 
any vice, nor any evil, to which its opposite does 
not tend. I confess, Mr. Inspector, that to 
some, all this may appear the very " foolishness 
of preaching ;" but if, by it, others are taught to 
think more justly of society, and to act more 
worthily in it, it will not be in vain that I have 
written, and taken this occasion of subscribing 
myself, &c. 




Of Beauty, long confin'd in Folly's chain, 
Misled by Fashion and her glittering train ; 
Of evils springing from that thirst of praise 
Which fires the youthful dames of modern days ; 
Which taught them all the various arts they know, 
" Brought Dress into the world and all our woe;'* 
I sing. * * * * * * 


Every person conversant with the writings of 
our best periodical essayists, must be well aware, 
that among the subjects which have been con- 
sidered as falling within their immediate pro- 
vince, that of Dress occupies a very prominent 
station. The operation of face painting was 
early animadverted upon in the Tatler, by Mr. 
Bickerstaff; and the same author, in a solemn 
manner, took the petticoat under his own parti- 
cular inspection. His successor, the Spectator, 
frequently interposed his advice in the important 
affairs of fans, patches, party-coloured hoods, 
and naked shoulders. In the Guardian, the 
venerable Nestor Ironside paid much attention 
to furbelows and farthingales, and in particular, 


wrote several learned dissertations on the tucker, 
— apart of dress which has since fallen, in a great 
measure, into disuse, although it is evident that 
this shrewd judge of human nature was deeply 
impressed with a sense of its importance. In the 
Rambler, indeed, we seldom find any discussions 
on subjects of this nature; which may, perhaps, 
be accounted for from the peculiar disposition of 
the author, who appears to have paid little atten- 
tion to exterior circumstances ; and has, through- 
out his writings, endeavoured to point out what 
mankind should be, rather than enlarged on what 
they actually were. 

My object, in this introduction, is to shew, 
from the precedents afforded by these celebrated 
authors, that I have an undoubted right to ani- 
madvert upon such peculiarities in dress and 
fashion as fall under my notice, — a right which 
I intend to exercise occasionally in future. Upon 
an attentive consideration of every thing relative 
to this subject, however, I feel conscious that it 
would be an act of injustice, were I to neglect the 
earliest opportunity of declaring my approbation, 
in general, of the alteration in the modes of dress 
since the commencement of the last century, 
especially so far as it regards the female sex. 
For a degree of stiffness and formality, which 
detracted greatly from the native charms of 


heaven's fairest workmanship, ease and elegance 
have been substituted ; and that person must be 
utterly unfit for a judge of the beautiful in form, 
who could, on this account, prefer the starched 
figures of the days of old Queen Bess, or even of 
Queen Anne, to the female costume of the present 

At periods considerably later than the reign of 
the last named Sovereign, the female shape was 
frequently disfigured by fashions equally prepos- 
terous as those of any preceding era. We are 
informed, in ancient history, that the courtiers 
of Alexander the Great carried their necks awry, 
in adulation of that monarch, who happened to 
be so formed by nature ; — in like manner, the 
fashionable ladies of Great Britain were, some 
years ago, all humpbacked and round shoul- 
dered, out of compliment to a late celebrated 
duchess. The head dress was, at one time, 
carried to such a formidable height, and so 
artificially constructed, as to afford a pretty tole- 
rable imitation of those prints which are said to 
represent the tower of Babel. Certain appen- 
dages of cork were substituted for the enormous 
hoops of former days; and, as a counterpoise 
was soon found necessary, the former made way 
for false bosoms. Even within the recollection 
of most of my fair readers, protuberant waists 



were all the ton, — a fashion which, though it could 
not possess any claim to gracefulness, might at 
least, in many cases, be allowed the merit of 
utility, and had a right to the praises which I 
find bestowed upon it in the following stanzas of 
a poem by a contemporary writer : — 

" No curious prying eye can see 

11 What spinsters would conceal ; 
" Nor slander's foul envenomed tongue, 

" The secret tale reveal. 
" Hail, happy days ! when maiden fame 

" Is thus so well protected, 
" That every wish may be indulg'd, 

" Yet wholly unsuspected!" 

The tendency of the human mind to run from 
one extreme into its opposite, has often been 
remarked ; and from this principle it is that the 
levity and dissoluteness of the court of Charles 
the Second has been attributed in a great degree 
to the affected sanctity and austere behaviour of 
the Puritans, during the commonwealth. Upon 
the same principle, perhaps, we may account for 
the lightness of dress, in which my fair country- 
women have lately indulged. For my own part, 
as I deem it most commendable to err on the 
side of candour, I have often thought, that this 
fashionable nakedness was probably meant as an 
open appeal to the world, against malicious 


insinuations, similar to those in the stanzas above 
quoted; but since the length of time during 
which the fashion has been prevalent, must have 
sufficed to convince the most sceptical of the 
falsehood of such insinuations, I am glad to find 
that my fair readers seem disposed to assume a 
little more clothing. This, I can assure them, 
they may safely do, without running any hazard 
of losing that grace and elegance I have already 
praised, and from which I should be sorry to 
see them deviate. 

It must be confessed that many reasons might 
be assigned why the modish style of dressing, or 
rather of undressing, ought still to be encouraged. 
In the first place, it enables a number of persons 
to follow the fashion, who otherwise could not do 
so. Many ladies, for instance, who would find 
it difficult to muster two or three petticoats, may 
be able to procure one. Secondly, it is econo- 
mical ; since it not only saves wear and tear, (to 
use a seaman's phrase) in the articles of gowns, 
petticoats, and handkerchiefs, but also washing, 
starching, and other expenses of a similar nature. 
Thirdly, it admits of more latitude in behaviour, 
and allows of freedoms which would be apt to 
excite unpleasant sensations of shame, in a more 
formal costume. Much, however, as Sir Roger 
de Coverley observes, may be said on both sides. 


It may be objected, that it lessens that distinction 
of ranks, with which the welfare of society is 
supposed to be intimately connected, and ena- 
bles the maiden to make as fashionable an ap- 
pearance as her mistress. It strikes at the pros- 
perity of our manufactures,, by diminishing the 
consumption of cottons, cambrics, and other 
articles of that kind, now become staple commo- 
dities. It also tends to encourage indolence, 
by allowing those hours, which otherwise must 
be employed in what housewives call cutting and 
contriving, to be spent in reading novels, and in 
other occupations of a like frivolous nature. It 
approximates too closely to the style and appear- 
ance of a certain class of females whom modest 
women should not seek to resemble ; although it 
must be confessed, that many have apparently 
little objection to copy them in this respect, who, 
we may charitably hope, would yet be ashamed 
to imitate their conduct. 

There are other reasons, independently of what 
has just been advanced, why levity of dress 
ought to be discarded by my countrywomen. 
History affords us many instances, wherein 
generals, of acknowledged talents, have lost the 
victory, which fortune seemed to have placed 
almost within their grasp, by too great confi- 
dence in their own resources. In like manner, 


the light clothing of the ladies, although origi- 
nally adopted, as has been before observed, to 
display their innocence, might probably, if longer 
persisted in, have invited attacks, the eventual 
consequences of which it was meant to shew had 
been effectually guarded against. Another and 
still more striking consideration — for the truth 
of which I may safely appeal to the observation 
of all who peruse this paper — is, that of those 
young ladies who have most distinguished them- 
selves by fashionable nakedness, more have 
caught colds and consumptions than either lovers 
or husbands. Those of my fair readers who are 
proof against this argument, I shall give up as 
wholly incorrigible. 

The celebrated authors alluded to in the com- 
mencement of this paper, have, in their writings, 
testified the opinion they entertained of the 
influence of female dress upon the character and 
conduct ; and the few observations I have thrown 
together will shew, that my sentiments are in 
unison with theirs, on this important point. 
Since I sat down to write the present paper, I 
have been informed that a grave assembly of 
divines, at a late solemn meeting,* have taken 
the subject under consideration, and formally 
denounced war against " the unjustifiable custom 
* The Methodist Conference, 1806. 


of the men wearing lapelled coats, and expensive 
showy stuffs ; the women wearing short sleeves 
and long-tailed gowns ; and the children a 
superfluity of buttons and ribbons." That part 
of this passage which relates to gentlemen and 
children, I shall not touch upon in the present 
paper, which is solely devoted to female fashions. 
I shall therefore only advert to the censure 
passed upon short sleeves, and long-tailed gowns. 
With the reason upon which this decision has 
been grounded, I am not acquainted. It cannot, 
however, be economy ; because this principle, 
although applicable to the latter article, would 
be infringed by their proposed reformation, in the 
former. With regard to short sleeves, although 
they have an appearance of economy, for which 
I profess myself a decided advocate, I must con- 
fess that I should not object to see a little more 
extravagance in this respect ; neither do I think, 
after the closest inspection I have been able to 
make, that it would render the charms of my 
fair countrywomen less attractive. Long trains 
these gentlemen might probably consider repre- 
hensible, for the reason which I have seen assigned 
by a late celebrated writer, viz. — " That they 
may often bring a lady into the most critical 
circumstances. For should a rude fellow offer 
to ravish a kiss, and the lady attempt to avoid it, 


in retiring she must necessarily tread upon her 
train, and thus fall fairly upon her back, by 
which means all the world knows — her clothes 
may be spoiled." 


Here is fostered every ill, 
Which or distemper'd minds or bodies know : 
Come, then, my kindred spirits ! do not spill 
Your talents here ; this place is but a show, 
Whose charms delude you to a den of woe : 
Come, follow me, — I will direct you right, 
Where pleasure's roses, void of serpents, grow.— Thomson. 

In a former number, I dwelt, at some length, 
on the necessity of an attention to trifles, and 
endeavoured to show that, in many cases, things 
which are considered in this light by the gene- 
rality of mankind, are actually of the utmost im- 
portance. I purpose to resume the subject in 
the present paper. 

In our progress through life, we frequently 
suffer ourselves to be carried forward by the 
power of fancy, to some point of imaginary good, 
in order to reach which, we are ready to sacrifice 
every intervening object, The usurer, as Addi- 


son has justly observed, would consent to the 
annihilation of that portion of time between the 
present moment and the quarter day. The poli- 
tician would give up that part which he thinks 
must elapse before his schemes can produce 
their effect ; and the lover, in like manner, thinks 
every moment an age, that keeps him from the 
object of his affections. Yet all these characters 
join in complaining of the shortness of life, 
though they are continually wishing it still 
shorter. The same remark may with equal pro- 
priety be applied to the subject of human hap- 
piness. The paucity of pleasures, and their fu- 
gitive nature, afford a very common topic of 
complaint. We form to ourselves some idea of 
superlative delight, in the enjoyment of an object 
deserving, it may be allowed, of our warmest 
attachment ; but the attainment of which, Pro- 
vidence seems to have denied us : our faculties 
are completely engrossed in the pursuit ; and 
every pleasure of a less intense nature, however 
lavishly bestowed, is suffered to pass unregarded. 
Like the boy in pursuit of the rainbow, we tram- 
ple upon the choicest flowers, and neglect the 
sweetest scenery, for the delusive chase of a 
fleeting and transitory vision of delight, which, 
probably, we shall never be able to realize. Per- 
haps we have formed some plan that might, if 


we were enabled to execute it, be productive of 
happiness to thousands of our fellow-creatures ; 
and in the prosecution of this great design, neg- 
lect to use our present means for meliorating 
their condition. We imitate the conduct of the 
man who starves himself, and views the miseries 
of his fellow-creatures with apathy, lest, by dis- 
bursing a few shillings, he should delay the period 
when he purposes to make amends for his past 
unkindness, by building an hospital or endowing 
an alms-house. 

Such is the general conduct of mankind. The 
different dispositions and peculiar circumstances 
of individuals occasion, however, a considerable 
variety in their pursuits. The epicure, whose 
imagination riots on a delicious repast upon veni- 
son or turtle, despises every other gratification, 
and thinks each day a month until the wished- 
for moment of serving up arrives. The debauchee, 
whose highest aim is to triumph over the virtue 
of unsuspecting innocence, counts every other 
pleasure a trifle unworthy of his notice, and lan- 
guishes for the opportunity of imparting indelible 
shame and misery, under the mask of reciprocal 
affection. To the ears of the gamester, even the 
music of the spheres would seem harsh and dis- 
sonant, compared with the rattling of the dice ; 
while the drunkard feels no enjoyment unless in 


the act of swallowing his favourite beverage. 
Ambitious or avaricious minds, in their pursuit 
of riches or of honours, think every other object 
unworthy to occupy a moment's leisure. The 
married, if unhappy, look forward with anxiety 
to the day when the chains w r hich gall them may 
be broken ; while the single anticipate, in ima- 
gination, the pleasures of the nuptial state. The 
heart of the coquette flutters at the thought of a 
new conquest ; and the mind actuated by the 
love of fashion, cannot think of tasting happiness 
until the arrival of a new dress. These are some 
of the various objects which often engage the 
w r hole attention of both sexes ; and leave them 
little time to think of others which promise less 
apparent gratification, 

A slight degree of experience, however, must 
convince every impartial observer of the insta- 
bility of happiness placed upon such founda- 
tions. The epicure, however large his means of 
procuring the good things of life, cannot hope to 
revel in fresh dainties every day ; nor would his 
appetite allow him always to enjoy them with 
the same gust ; to say nothing of the vexations 
arising from the ignorance and perverseness of 
cooks, which have given rise to a proverb so well 
known that T need not here repeat it. The 
gamester will not always, even in the present 


day, meet with a set of companions equally as 
attached as himself to cards or dice ; nor can 
the drunkard be ever guzzling his favourite 
liquor* Independently of that remorse which the 
keen reproaches of ruined innocence must fre- 
quently occasion to the debauchee — unless indeed 
his heart is utterly insensible to the pleadings of 
humanity — such triumphs as he seeks to gain 
cannot very frequently occur, and he must often 
undergo the shame of a repulse in his dishonour- 
able attempts. Riches and honours will fre- 
quently occasion anxiety and disappointment to 
those persons, who, in making them the chief 
objects of their pursuit, neglect those comforts 
which a gracious Providence has already bestowed 
upon them. Of those persons unhappily matched 
in wedlock, only one half, at any rate, can have 
the pleasure of following a wife or husband to 
the grave ; and to the greater part of these, the 
length of time before " a consummation so de- 
voutly wished" takes place, will probably ren- 
der the chance of again entering the temple of 
Hymen nearly hopeless. The coquette must 
not expect every day to see a new lover at her 
feet ; her charms will infallibly give place to 
wrinkles and old age, — and then, if not before, 
she will hear no sighs except her own. Every 
single person is not fortunate enough to excite 
e e 



reciprocal affection ; and even of those who do 
experience this pleasure, many will be prevented 
from reaping its fruits by the obstacles arising 
from prejudice, fortune, or caprice. Modes of 
dress may either change too often for the purses 
of the modish part of society, or else not fre- 
quently enough ; a belle may only be able to 
procure a new gown or head dress once a month, 
while her companions are changing theirs weekly ; 
and a spruce beau be condemned to wear a coat 
two months behind the fashion, owing to the 
want of information in his blockhead of a tailor. 
From the preceding observations it will appear 
evident, that the characters alluded to must often 
be debarred the gratification of their highest 
wishes ; and, consequently, that the pleasure 
dependent solely upon such gratification, must 
be both precarious and transitory. In every 
pursuit, the probability of disappointment in- 
creases in proportion as the object of it is more 
difficult to be procured. Besides, every philoso- 
pher who has made human happiness the subject 
of his inquiry, has confessed that it depends less 
upon the enjoyment of intense pleasure, than 
upon a multiplicity of agreeable sensations of 
a lower degree. The feelings we experience 
every moment, in a state of perfect health, are 
not so lively as those arising from the more im- 


mediate gratifications of sense, but they are not 
less conducive to our well-being and comfort in 
life. In like manner, many enjoyments which 
Providence has placed within our grasp every 
hour, although less exquisite than others we 
expect to meet with, ought not to be despised 
on that account. The former are the pence, which 
we should endeavour to take care of; the latter 
are the pounds, which may be safely left to take 
care of themselves. 

Admitting, therefore, that all the individuals 
characterized above, had formed a just estimate 
of the great importance of those objects to which 
they are exclusively attached, I would only beg 
them, for the reasons now advanced, to pay a 
little more regard to things which they appear 
to consider as comparatively trifling. The plea- 
sures I would recommend to their notice are 
within their reach, and may be obtained with as 
little trouble, and far more certainty, than those 
which have hitherto engrossed their attention. I 
would remind them that every situation in life 
has peculiar duties attached to it, sufficient to 
exercise our diligence, and occupy our leisure ; 
and that the conscientious fulfilment of those 
duties is attended with a degree of satisfaction, 
which renders them deserving of cultivation. If 
the epicure and drunkard cannot enjoy the gra- 



tifications of sense so often as they could wish, 
they may yet, by a slight sacrifice, be able to 
satisfy the cravings of hunger or thirst in the 
wretch who is sinking under sickness or poverty, 
and thus enjoy that " nobler luxury of doing 
good." The covetous or ambitious, although 
disappointed in the ultimate object of their aims, 
may, by directing their efforts into other chan- 
nels, easily and effectually promote the cause of 
virtue by their influence and example, and greatly 
meliorate the condition of their fellow creatures. 
If the unhappy in wedlock are compelled to dis- 
card the hope of a new and more fortunate con- 
nexion, they may have it in their power, by mu- 
tual concessions, to render their present situation 
far more desirable; and though the coquette 
cannot secure a lover, she may yet be enabled 
to make many friends. The unfashionable dress 
of a beau may, in some measure, be compensated 
by increased complaisance, and a more diligent 
cultivation of the understanding ; — and even on 
the part of the ladies, the ornament of " a meek 
and quiet spirit" will leave little reason to regret 
the temporary want of a modish costume. Per- 
sons in every station may find full scope for 
their exertions, in the exercise of benevolence, in 
acts of kindness, in the cultivation of the social 
affections, in relieving the wants of the afflicted, 


soothing their anguish, and alleviating their dis- 
tress, — and in fulfilling the claims of society 
upon them as children, parents, wives, husbands, 
neighbours, and friends. These are the trifles 
which I would earnestly recommend to the notice 
of my readers. The attainment of them is easy ; 
opportunities for exercising them occur every 
moment ; and, however paradoxical it may appear 
to many persons, they will in practice afford a 
degree of delight, less vehement, perhaps, but 
equally gratifying, more lasting, and far oftener 
to be enjoyed, than that arising from the most 
successful pursuit of the objects of sensual plea- 
sure, vanity, or ambition. 


The lights and shades of manners, wrong and right. 


The nature of virtue is an inquiry which has 
often occupied the attention of philosophers and 
moralists ; and various definitions have been 
given of it by those authors who have undertaken 
to elucidate this important subject. Some make 
it to consist in following nature ; some in a regard 
to truth, considered with respect both to words 
and actions ; others in acting up to the moral 


fitness of things ; some place it in the agreeable 
and useful, as they relate to mankind in general, — 
and have even gone so far as to include bodily 
graces and accomplishments in their definition ; 
one class has made it to consist in the imitation 
of God ; and another in doing good to mankind, 
in obedience to his will. An examination of 
these different opinions, and the reasons upon 
which they are grounded, would occupy more 
time and space than the limits of an Inspector 
will allow ; but if the sentiments of mankind in 
general, as displayed in their conduct, are allowed 
to form a tolerably correct test of truth, it will 
not, perhaps, be difficult to point out the futility 
of most of these definitions ; since a small por- 
tion of observation will suffice to shew, that 
though most men profess to act in conformity to 
the standard of virtue, the number is very small 
of those who attempt to reduce any of them into 
practice. How few, for instance, at present, con- 
sider themselves as under any obligation to fol- 
low nature, at least in the sense in which moral- 
ists have used that term. How few act with a 
perfect regard to what is denominated the fitness 
of things. Many persons openly or tacitly deny 
the being of a God ; and, of course, the imitation 
of him, or an endeavour to promote the happi- 
ness of mankind in obedience to his will, cannot 


enter into their conceptions of virtue. Among 
those who profess a regard to truth, as it relates 
to words, many are exceedingly inattentive to it 
in what belongs to actions. The agreeable and 
useful, so far as individuals are concerned in 
them, meet with their warm approbation ; but in 
what concerns others, are often found to possess 
little influence on the mind and character. That 
bodily graces or accomplishments constitute the 
whole of virtue, may indeed seem to derive con- 
firmation from the behaviour of many persons 
among us, who either are, or fancy themselves to 
be, in possession of them, and who apparently 
despise every other qualification; but the old, 
the envious, the ugly, and the awkward, will 
oppose such a claim, and are in sufficient num- 
bers to prevent the doctrine from obtaining uni- 
versal acceptation. 

This evident inconsistency in the conduct of 
the generality of mankind, when referred to any 
of the above definitions of that virtue by which 
they profess to regulate their lives, leads to a 
supposition that they have adopted some opinion 
of its nature, different from any of those before 
enumerated, — but what that opinion is, remains 
to be deduced from a view of all the circum- 
stances. According to Aristotle, virtue consists 
in mediocrity. The authority of this ancient 


philosopher, upon many subjects, is indeed less 
regarded than it was formerly, owing to the mo- 
dern discoveries in most of those branches of 
knowledge which he assiduously cultivated. 
His talents and sagacity, however, are yet held 
in great estimation ; and many of his deductions 
are acknowledged to be the result of legitimate 
reasoning. Whether a similar concession will 
be made in favour of the above definition of vir- 
tue, needs not here be inquired ; but certainly, 
on the supposition that the conduct of men is a 
fair criterion of the principles by which they are 
actuated, the strongest grounds exist for con- 
cluding his opinion to be that which governs and 
regulates their practice. There is, however, 
reason to believe, that in determining the limits 
of the mediocrity in question, our author and 
his modern followers would be found to differ 
materially ; and it is a subject of regret, that the 
point upon the scale assigned, by the latter, as 
the boundary beyond which virtue degenerates 
into vice, should be fixed so low. 

The truth of these observations will, perhaps, 
appear more evident by a reference to some par- 
ticular branch of virtue. Courage is universally 
acknowledged to be of that description, and is 
countenanced as such so long as it is confined to 
the standard of the world ; that is, to the readiness 


of encountering danger or death in any cause, 
without discriminating whether it be good or 
bad. Indeed the merit of this quality seems to 
be enhanced in proportion as the occasion on 
which it is to be shown is foolish and preposte- 
rous. A man who dares to kill his dearest friend, 
in order to satisfy some frivolous punctilio of 
honour, is reckoned a brave man ; and if to the 
seduction of a wife or daughter he add the mur- 
der of a husband or brother, he is counted de- 
serving of double praise. But if he have the 
spirit to apologize for conduct which he may be 
conscious was improper, and is ready to incur 
the censure of the world, rather than hazard either 
his own life or that of a friend, for a mere trifle ; if 
he strictly attend to the suggestions of conscience, 
and dare to brave the contempt of his acquaint- 
ance, rather than offend against the positive 
commands of God ; — whatever other epithets 
may be applied to his conduct, the world will 
not denominate it virtuous. 

Few qualities are deemed more worthy of 
commendation than generosity, when kept within 
certain limits ; as for instance, when it is merely 
employed in lavishing upon the follies or vices 
of others, what is not immediately necessary to 
the gratification of our own passions ; or when 
we bestow our favours liberally upon those who 



solicit assistance, without either inquiring into the 

justice of their claims, or the right we have to 
bestow upon them that portion of our means to 
which others may possibly possess a better title. 
But when a man curtails his own enjoyments, in 
order to afford relief to the necessitous, — when 
he is anxious to convey succour to those who are 
silently pining- under sickness or adversity, for 
the want of a small portion of his superfluity, — 
he Will generally be accounted quixotical : — on 
the other hand, if he hesitate at relieving every 
real or pretended object of pity, until their claims 
are ascertained, — or refuse to participate in every 
expensive and fashionable amusement, — his con- 
duct will be stigmatized as mean-spirited and 
parsimonious. In either case he will have ex- 
ceeded that mediocrity beyond which, in the 
opinion of the world, virtue degenerates into 

Humility also, to a certain degree, attracts the 
admiration of mankind ; but pushed a little fur- 
ther, appears, in their estimation, to cease to be a 
virtue. A man who does not wish to outstrip 
his neighbours in expense and show, but confines 
himself in outward appearance to the rank of life 
in which he is placed, endeavouring to live upon 
what are called easy terms with all around him, 
and not pretending to be better than they, will, 


perhaps, be complimented for his humility. 
But if he proceed a step farther, and think less 
highly of himself than his equals in rank or for- 
tune think of themselves ; if he condescend to 
take more notice of his inferiors — enter more 
deeply into their concerns — endeavour more 
earnestly to promote their comfort and happi- 
ness — and shew that he considers them, however 
low in situation, as his fellow-creatures, the chil- 
dren of the same beneficent Creator ; — they who 
heretofore considered him entitled to praise for 
his humility, will now be ready to rank him 
among those w r ho have transgressed its proper 
limits ; and will scarcely be brought to follow 
his example. 

Tns above remarks may be extended still fur- 
ther, and exemplified by particular instances. 
Prudentius is a man who ranks high for his 
honesty in the esteem of his contemporaries, and 
is frequently held up as a model for imitation to 
the young tradesman. His conduct is considered 
as strictly exemplary. In transacting business 
he is well known never to refuse taking any ad- 
vantage afforded him by the ignorance of those 
with whom he has to deal; and is sometimes 
suspected of having misled them by false in- 
formation, that he might profit by their subse- 
quent conduct, He is punctual in fulfilling the 


bargains which he makes, unless indeed some 
unforeseen occurrence has rendered it desirable 
that the contract should be voided ; in such a 
case he thinks himself perfectly warranted in 
laying hold of any error that can render it nu- 
gatory ; but this, in the opinion of the world, 
does not in the least detract from his honesty. — 
It is all fair in the way of trade. His neighbour, 
Probus, on the other hand, has frequently been 
known to decline an opportunity of making what 
is called a good bargain, because he was well 
aware that the person with whom he had to deal 
was accidentally ignorant of some circumstances 
that greatly affected the value of his commodity. 
The young and unskilful are sure of meeting with 
the same fair dealing at his hands as the artful 
and experienced trader. When he himself has 
made an unfortunate speculation in the w r ay of 
business, and some flaw in the contract has 
afforded him a legal excuse for declining to fulfil 
his part of the stipulation, he has often been 
known to decline this advantage, to the great 
surprise and sometimes offence of his more pru- 
dent neighbours. For these reasons his character 
is held in far less estimation than that of Pru- 
dentius ; and while, as before stated, the latter is 
held up as a model for imitation, Probus is only 
pointed out to notice, in order to guard the novice 


in trade against falling into his errors. In fact, 
had Probus been content with abstaining from 
all open dishonesty, and not pushed his notions 
of virtue beyond those entertained by his neigh- 
bour Prudentius, he might have been considered 
as a man of equal worth, and acquired a similar 
degree of popularity. 

Tf the opinion of Aristotle, — that " virtue 
consists in mediocrity," — be sufficiently corrobo- 
rated by that mode of thinking and acting gene- 
rally prevalent in the world, of which some 
specimens have been given in the above obser- 
vations ; it is easy to prove the converse of the 
proposition, viz. that " vice consists only in 
extremes." The example of Prudentius has 
shown that, in the way of trade, a little of what 
stricter moralists would denominate fraud, is 
considered as not at all inimical to virtue. A 
person may cheat his neighbour at pleasure, and 
yet be esteemed for his purity of principle, pro- 
vided he abstain from any very flagrant and 
gross breach of faith or honesty. He may occa- 
sionally be found in a state of intoxication, and 
yet obtain the praise of sobriety and temperance, 
provided he does not transgress in this point 
more frequently than the generality of those 
around him. He may now and then indulge in 
a licentious amour, if he only manage it with 


some little attention to decency, and abstain from 
any dishonourable attempts on the wives or 
daughters of his neighbours and equals ; and yet 
maintain an unsullied character for virtue. Per- 
haps by a sudden impulse of vanity or feeling, he 
may be led to contribute handsomely to some 
popular charity, which will ever after entitle him 
to the praise of humanity, liberality, and benefi- 
cence ; although he is nearly regardless of these 
duties through the remainder of life, and substi- 
tutes for them, in his own immediate sphere, a 
series of cold, imperious, arbitrary, and unfeeling 
conduct, which yet does not break out into such 
extremes as the world thinks to be alone deserving 
of reprobation. In respect to religion, he may 
profess his acquiescence in the doctrines of 
Christianity, and maintain a regular and decent 
deportment, which will generally procure him 
the reputation of being a very pious and virtuous 
character ; but if he appear more anxious to 
reduce his opinions into practice than the rest 
of those around him, and manifest a stronger 
sense of the necessity of stricter purity of heart 
and life — his virtue, in the estimation of the 
world, immediately acquires the nature of vice, 
and his piety is pronounced to be enthusiasm. 



On parties now our fate depends, 
And frowns or smiles as these are foes or friends. 
Wit, judgment, nature, join ; you strive in vain ; 
'Tis keen invective stamps the current strain. 
Fix'd to one side, like Homer's gods we fight ; 
These always wrong, and those forever right. Whitehead. 

The long interval of time* which has elapsed 
since the publication of my last number, has 
occasioned several inquiries whether my perio- 
dical labours had quite closed or only experienced 
a temporary interruption. I have been repeatedly 
reminded that many topics yet remained for dis- 
cussion ; that various characters, estimable for 
their virtues, ridiculous for their follies, or de- 
testable for their vices, might w T ith great propriety 
be held up to public view, as models to be copied 
or examples to be shunned. Instances of gross 
misconduct in different individuals, have been 
pointed out as deserving of the severest repre- 
hension; while, on the other hand, I have been 
called upon to do an act of justice to the public, 

* Viz, from January 17 to October 3. 


in circulating the knowledge of various benevo- 
lent and charitable deeds, which otherwise might 
probably sink into oblivion. 

These proofs of the estimation in which my 
labours have been held by a part at least of the 
community, have indeed given me considerable 
gratification, — but my readers need not be afraid 
that they have in anywise rendered me vain ; for 
I must candidly confess, that I have been favoured 
with an equal number of communications of an 
opposite nature : some blaming my temerity in 
undertaking a periodical paper ; and others 
congratulating me on having relinquished a task, 
to which my long silence proved I had found 
myself unequal. One correspondent, in particu- 
lar, has kindly condescended to write my epitaph ; 
although I am not only yet alive, but, to spare 
any of my friends that trouble, had actually, in 
a preceding number,* composed one for myself, 
containing as large a portion of eulogy as my 
modesty would allow me to claim. 

To the latter class of correspondents I would 
merely hint, that my silence may perhaps be 
satisfactorily explained, without recurring to any 
of those causes to which they have assigned it. 
It is not improbable, that I might be tempted to 

* No. 6. 


follow the precept of Pythagoras for a season, in 
order that the value of my communications might 
be better appreciated, and my subsequent 
effusions rendered more desirable, in consequence 
of my taciturnity. At any rate, it would have 
been more charitable to have ascribed the sus- 
pension of my labours to that mystic influence 
of the seasons, which we are often told operates 
upon the imagination and fancy of the poet. 
The vein of Milton, we are informed by one of 
his biographers, never happily flowed but from 
the autumnal to the vernal equinox. As there 
seems no just cause why this excuse for indo- 
lence ought to be considered solely as a poetical 
privilege, may not the prose writer be supposed 
to be liable to a similar affection, though probably 
at a different season ? 

Another reason yet remains to be suggested. 
Certain periods, however pregnant with occur- 
rences of a nature sufficiently important to arrest 
the observation of an impartial Inspector, and 
afford him materials for censure or applause, are 
not the most favourable for ensuring a proper 
degree of attention to his remarks. While en- 
gaged in the bustle of an election contest, or 
immersed in the whirlpool of party violence, few 
men have the leisure, and still fewer perhaps the 
inclination, to contemplate any other subject. 



A writer wliose brows are not decorated with the 
colours of a favoured candidate, and whose pro- 
fessed object is wholly unconnected either with 
politics or parties, has therefore little reason to 
flatter himself with obtaining a moment's regard, 
since he offers none of those attractions which, 
by ministering to the temporary passions of men, 
irresistibly engross their attention. Nay, is there 
not room to believe, that if the Virtues them- 
selves were to descend among us at such a period, 
in propria persona, their favourable reception 
would, in a great measure, depend upon the 
opinions entertained of their having imbibed the 
principles of Whig or Tory ? 

It is not my design in the preceding observa- 
tions to decide upon the propriety or impropriety 
of political attachments ; but merely to shew, 
that under the circumstances therein alluded to, 
it is scarcely to be expected, that persons should 
be led to forego what they consider as the general 
interest, for the sake of attending to what con- 
cerns themselves individually. A man whose 
influence, if properly exercised on such an occa- 
sion, may perhaps be decisive of the fate of an 
empire, has some kind of an excuse for the tem- 
porary neglect of his other duties ; to such a one, 
political sins often appear as the worst of crimes ; 
and while employed in detecting and punishing 


delinquencies of this description in others, his 
own deviation from the strait path of virtue may 
be deemed only a secondary consideration. 

It has been observed above, that political 
struggles afford abundant matter for remark to 
an attentive Inspector ; and it is greatly to be 
wished that the reflections to which they give 
birth were of a more pleasing nature. At no 
time are the malevolent passions more violently 
excited. Persons of the greatest candour are apt 
on such occasions to be insensibly misled by their 
prejudices; and while the conduct of their 
own friends and partizans appears all fair and 
honourable, the jaundiced eye of partiality per- 
ceives nothing but the grossest blemishes in that 
of their opponents. The attachments of friend- 
ship, and the ties of kindred, are too feeble to 
resist the powerful impulse of party. Even those 
who, however opposite in their political opinions, 
yet deservedly rank high in point of general 
character and public estimation, are often tempted 
to entertain sentiments of each other, which, 
under different circumstances, they would be 
ashamed of harbouring for a single moment.— 
Nor is this afc all times without some appearance 
of reason. Under the severe regulations of 
Sparta, some kinds of theft, if not classed in the 
list of virtues, were at least considered as venial ; 


and perhaps there are strong grounds for sup- 
posing, even in this enlightened age and country, 
that there are occasions, wherein certain devia- 
tions from the acknowledged principles of mora- 
lity, in the estimation of political men, cease to 
be vicious. 

These are evils which cannot be too deeply 
lamented. They tend to lower the characters of 
persons, otherwise highly estimable ; to circum- 
scribe their usefulness ; and to perpetuate a spirit 
of discord and rancour, destructive of that " milk 
of human kindness," which ought to circulate in 
every bosom. While the furor of the political 
mania, whence such evils derive their origin, is 
still prevalent, it would be a vain and useless 
task to declaim upon their diabolical nature ; 
but surely the first symptoms of remission may 
fairly be seized to warn the wise and the good 
of every party against the pernicious conse- 

It is not my intention to arraign that inter- 
ference in whatever appears to regard the welfare 
of the State, which is the peculiar privilege and 
birthright of Britons ; but merely to remind my 
readers that they have also other obligations to 
fulfil, materially, though indirectly, connected 
with the prosperity of the community. The 
corruption of public bodies, and the want of 


principle among our public men, form common, 
and perhaps just, topics of complaint. Any 
attempt to remedy those evils, is surely praise- 
worthy ; but it is equally necessary to inquire, 
how far they are countenanced and even propa- 
gated by the conduct of individuals in humbler 
stations. The man, of whatever party, who ex- 
claims against a senator for sacrificing principles 
to power, ought to consider, whether he himself 
has not been guilty of a similar offence in the 
choice of a representative ; and whether, in the 
only political transactions that fall within his 
sphere of life, he likewise has not adopted that 
Jesuitical maxim — of the end justifying the 
means — which often constitutes a leading article 
in the statesman's creed ? The subject of broken 
promises and court-corruption forms a theme of 
declamation ill suited to the man who has falsi- 
fied his own protestations, or been guilty of 
receiving the wages of bribery and corruption ; 
and who has thus, by his own depravity, sanc- 
tioned at least, if not actually occasioned, the 
very crimes which he execrates. In a competi- 
tion for office or employment of whatever kind, 
when personal influence, whether arising from 
fortune, character, or situation, is bartered away 
for pecuniary emolument or any other considera- 
tion, there is little reason for complaint, if the 


person to whom such office is delegated, follows 
the examples of his constituents, and traffics with 
it for some object of greater value in his own 
estimation. Of the two parties implicated in 
such offences against the rules of morality, the 
guilt of one affords no excuse for the turpitude of 
the other; and it cannot be too often repeated, 
that when the morals of the community are cor- 
rupted, those of their governors can scarcely be 
expected to escape the general contagion. 

Should these observations be considered as 
misplaced in a paper professedly unconnected 
with politics, let it be remembered, that the sub- 
ject is not treated in a political, but in a moral 
point of view. It might, indeed, be laid down as 
a maxim to which the history of all ages bears 
ample testimony, that " the decay of private 
virtue is the primary cause, and Jeading symptom 
of public ruin." Such a decay occasioned the 
civil contests which ended in the subjection of 
the Roman Republic to a perpetual dictator. 
Even in the time of the first Caesars, when oppor- 
tunities offered for restoring the government to 
its former state, the friends of liberty were com- 
pelled to acknowledge that their countrymen 
were become incapable of enjoying that invalu- 
able blessing. For these reasons, I could wish 
all my readers to reflect, that the future condi- 


tion of this flourishing empire is liable to be 
materially influenced by their moral conduct as 
individuals; and that, whatever the success of 
the party whose cause they have espoused, their 
own adherence to the rules of virtue is an indis- 
pensable duty. 

N. B. In order to obviate any suspicion of 
being actuated by selfish and interested views, 
the Inspector thinks it necessary to declare, that 
he does not intend to offer himself as a candi- 
date at the next election. 


Sure these are but imaginary wiles; 

And Lapland sorcerers inhabit here. — Shakspeare. 

No argument like matter of fact is. 

And we are best of all led to 

Men's principles by what they do. — Hudibras. 

Some time ago, I received a letter signed 
Amicus, informing me of certain transactions 
between several young ladies of this place and a 
professor of the art of witchcraft, from an ad- 
joining county. My correspondent expressed 
himself in terms very indignant at those ladies, 


for suffering themselves to be made the dupes of 
an impostor ; and called upon me to join him in 
his animadversions upon the folly of giving cre- 
dit to such practices, especially at the present 
day. My sentiments on this subject, however, 
are totally different from those of my correspon- 
dent : — so far from denying that there is such a 
thing as witchcraft among us, I shall undertake, 
in this paper, to prove its existence ; and have 
little doubt, if his mind is in the slightest degree 
open to conviction, of making him as firm a 
believer in this doctrine as the late Cotton Mather, 
or even Mr. Glanville himself. 

It is true that the Legislature, several years 
ago, thought fit to repeal the statutes provided 
by the wisdom of our forefathers for the punish- 
ment of witchcraft ; and hence the opinion en- 
tertained by many well meaning people of its 
having become extinct, probably originated ; for 
the decree of such an enlightened assembly must 
undoubtedly have had great influence upon 
their contemporaries. But whatever might have 
been the actual state of the case at that period, 
the conduct of many of our modern senators, 
and the abundant evidence of a different nature 
which I shall produce, will, I trust, prove the 
truth of my position. 

In the first place, it may be observed, that the 


fact of the existence of witches, at the present 
day, is so notorious, that they are acknowledged 
to form a very large part of the population of a 
neighbouring county. That man must indeed 
be very ignorant, who has never either seen or 
heard of Lancashire witches ; a race as celebrated 
for their beauty as those of yore were for age 
and ugliness. Nor is this species (of mischiev- 
ous beings, shall I call them ?) confined to that 
county, — for Yorkshire itself can furnish us with 
an ample number ; and I fancy there are few of 
my male readers who have not, at some time or 
other, felt the force of their magic spells. How 
commonly do we hear it said, — " What a be- 
witching creature I" " How enchanting she looks 1" 
" What wonderful charms she possesses \" — and 
various similar exclamations. Nay, if verbal 
testimony should be deemed ineligible, written 
proofs might undoubtedly be produced under 
the hand of almost every man who can guide a 
pen. Even though it should be allowed, that in 
what relates to the young and lovely of the 
female sex, men's words are not always to be 
credited, yet there seems no reason to doubt 
their veracity when speaking of others, devoid of 
these attractions. But how often do we hear of 
such ladies looking " like an old hag," or " as 
ugly as a witch ;" — terms of comparison which, 



certainly, no person would ever use, were he not 
convinced of their truth, and the propriety of 
the application. 

It is not my design to enter into the history of 
modern witchcraft, or to enlarge upon the means 
by which its influence is exerted, — though these 
would form curious topics for discussion. It will 
be sufficient to observe, that the adepts in this 
art may be divided into two classes, — in the first 
of which must be ranked those to whom I have 
alluded. The fascination of this class is gene- 
rally of a pleasing nature, and most commonly 
resides, like that of the basilisk, in the eyes ; so 
that the object they gaze upon is in danger of 
destruction. The numbers slain annually by 
them, if we may believe the assertions of the 
dying victims, are incalculable ; although their 
deaths are not classed under any particular head, 
in the bills of mortality. Instead of preparing 
their charms in a cauldron, in the midst of a wild 
heath, — as customary in the days of Macbeth, — 
witches of this description prefer a modern toilet; 
and the loathsome ingredients of " eye of newt" 
and " toe of frog" are discarded, for the more 
powerful aid of lace and cambric, lavender and 

The second class of witches are those who, 
like their predecessors of old, delight in working 


" woe and trouble" to mankind ; and though it 
must be confessed that I cannot appeal to ocular 
demonstration for the fact of their existence, yet 
I may confidently adduce the concurrent testi- 
mony of many thousands in proof of it. Almost 
every man is compelled to confess, at one period 
or other of his life, that he has certainly felt the 
operation of this supernatural agency, or other- 
wise he should have acted differently. How 
commonly, for instance, do we hear persons ex- 
claim, " I was certainly bewitched when I beha- 
ved in so absurd a manner ;" " I was bewitched 
when I married my wife ; — " I must have been 
bewitched or I should not have got drunk ;^-" I 
should not have thrown away my money at the 
gaming table if I had not been bewitched," &c. 
In short, if there is any truth in words, this mis- 
chievous influence is as commonly exerted to 
bewilder the minds of my countrymen, and frus- 
trate their good intentions, as the spells of the 
enchanters of old were to counteract the chival- 
rous projects of Don Quixote de la Mancha. 

Should it be alleged that these are mere com- 
mon-place expressions, made use of by men in a 
fit of peevishness, when not altogether satisfied 
with the propriety of their conduct, it may be 
answered, that such persons ought, at least, to be 
as well acquainted with their own feelings and 


situation as their neighbours. Even if they were 
not, we find mankind equally disposed to attri- 
bute whatever they see ridiculous or censurable 
in others, to the operation of the same cause. 
Indeed this alone can enable us to unriddle all 
those anomalies and eccentricities observable in 
human life. When we see a man, who has 
hitherto borne a fair character, throwing off, in 
his old age, the restraints of religion and mo- 
rality, and acting- in defiance of their dictates, 
how can we otherwise account for it if witchcraft 
is discarded ? Or what excuse can be found for 
the woman who abandons an affectionate hus- 
band and lovely offspring-, to seek shelter in the 
arms of a worthless profligate, unless we allow 
her to have been bewitched ? What other in- 
ducement could lead the respectable tradesman 
to make shipwreck of his conscience by defraud- 
ing his creditors ? — the man of fortune to forfeit 
his independence for the sake of an empty title 
or a pension ? — or the patriot to forego the cause 
of his country, and quietly reap the wages of 
corruption ? When the man of learning and 
genius becomes so far regardless of character as 
to sit down calmly, and attempt to obtain a por- 
tion of fame, by means at which virtue and deli- 
cacy revolt, who will not believe him to have 
been bewitched P Or to what other cause must 


we ascribe that inextinguishable thirst after 
pleasure, which actuates the hoary sensualist, 
when age and infirmities hourly recal his atten- 
tion to subjects of the utmost solemnity and im- 
portance ? The rich, who often sacrifice their 
own happiness, and that of all around them, to 
external pomp and show; — the miser, who de- 
prives himself of even the very necessaries of life, 
in order to hoard up a little of that wealth which 
his heart will not allow him to use J — the de- 
bauchee, who strains every nerve to obtain a 
name of infamy, and entail upon himself misery 
and disease, must all, certainly be labouring 
under the influence of witchcraft. 

After such a mass of evidence in support of 
my position, it appears needless to adduce any 
other arguments. Even admitting that the exis- 
tence of witchcraft could not be proved, still 
there are many reasons why the doctrine ought 
not to be exploded. I shall only mention one, viz. 
that if this should unfortunately ever be the case, 
the world would be deprived of the most conve- 
nient plea for folly and wickedness that ever 
was invented : and when the great trouble man- 
kind are at, in devising excuses for their miscon- 
duct, is taken into consideration, this circum- 
stance must be deemed of no common impor- 
tance. When any person, for instance, is con- 


scious that lie has not acted as he ought, and yet 
cannot be allowed to palliate his transgressions 
by pleading that he was under the influence of 
witchcraft, he has no alternative left, but must 
be compelled to acknowledge himself either a 
villain or a fool. How unpleasant it would be 
to be placed in such a dilemma, I shall leave 
every unprejudiced mind to determine. 

There is one inference I would wish my readers 
to draw from the preceding remarks, were I not 
afraid that it might induce them to think that, 
in this discussion, my conclusions had probably 
been influenced by interested motives. My pre- 
decessor, the Spectator, in more than one place, 
has intimated, that when any marks of dulness 
appeared in his compositions, they were to be 
attributed to design, and not to involuntary 
causes. For my own part, as I am never dull 
designedly, I would beg of my friends, that 
whenever symptoms of dulness are perceivable 
in the numbers of the Inspector, they will not 
attribute them to any inherent defect in the 
author, but merely to the circumstance of his 
being " actually bewitched." 



Truth, I Impart, 
To weed out folly from the heart ; 
And shew the paths that lead astray, 
The wand'ring nymph from wisdom's way. — Moore. 

Mr. Inspector. 

Sir — I am a plain tradesman, who, by my own 
industry and the prudent management of an excel- 
lent housewife, have contrived to get a comforta- 
ble living, and to lay by a little money, even in 
these hard times. As a daughter is the only 
child we have, we were passionately fond of her, 
and, in consequence, determined to give her the 
best education in our power, in the hope of her 
proving a comfort to our old age. We have 
often delighted ourselves with the progress she 
made in her schooling ; and though we were not 
always able to judge of the use of those things 
she had learnt, we thought them wonderfully fine 
and clever. Often have we listened to her with 
rapture, while parleying French with her master, 
whom we sometimes invited to visit us, for that 
purpose, during the holidays : and because Mr. 
Tweedle, the music master, praised her airs, and 


sonatos, and symphonies, we could not help think- 
ing they must be mighty fine; though for my 
own part, I always preferred "A cobbler there 
was," or "Last Valentine Day;" and Dorothy, 
my wife, thought nothing equal to " Nancy 
Dawson," or " Jockey to the Fair." 

Well, Mr. Inspector, you must know then, 
that Polly having finished her education, came 
home to us at midsummer, and for some time, we 
were highly delighted with her accomplishments ; 
but unfortunately, she has since found out, that her 
father and mother are ignorant people, and have 
nothing of gentility about them. She is conti- 
nually carping at our speech, in which, it seems, 
we often offend against the rules of grammar ; 
for Polly is now quite a grammarian. She ac- 
cuses her mother of using what are called plurals, 
when she ought to use singulars; and I am 
blamed for blundering in my moods and tenses. 
For my own part, I must say, that I am not al- 
ways very well pleased with Polly's moods. She 
has even told us, several times, that she was 
ashamed to hear us speak when any of her 
school- fellows were present; and indeed I my- 
self have frequently seen her blush on these oc- 
casions ; although I tell her that nothing is 
shameful but what is sinful ; and that if she had 
not been indebted to our cares and labour, for 


supporting her at school, she would probably 
have spoken no better than either we or our 
neighbours, whom she often ridicules. 

Nor is this all our cause of complaint. I have 
before said that we have no great taste for music, 
although both Dolly and myself are fond of a 
song, or a tune, now and then ; and many a time 
has Polly formerly charmed us with some of our 
favourite pieces. But now, notwithstanding the 
great expense we have been at in her learning 
music, we can seldom be favoured with a song or 
a tune of our own choosing. This is old ; that is 
unfashionable ; so that instead of them we are 
compelled to put up with modem shakes and 

Besides, Polly, as I before told you, has been 
taught French ; and she now seems to consider 
almost every one of her acquaintance, who is 
ignorant of that language, as scarcely worthy of 
her notice ; and I am sorry to say, we have 
sometimes reason to suppose that her father and 
mother are not more highly thought of. Now as 
she formerly used to be an affectionate girl, we 
take very unkindly to this change, and are grieved 
to find that what we hoped would make her a 
blessing to us, is likely to produce a different 
effect. As she reads your paper, do, Mr. In- 
spector, remind her how cruel it is, that the 
I i 


painful sacrifices we have made, to get her a 
good education, should be thus rewarded. She 
has not a bad heart, and perhaps may profit by 
your hints. You will excuse this freedom ; and 
please to correct what errors you find in this let- 
ter, before you publish it. 

Your humble servant, 

Timothy Plain. 

My correspondent's request is so reasonable, 
that I have lost no time in acceding to it ; and 
this I have more cheerfully done, because cases 
somewhat similar have not unfrequently fallen 
under my observation. It is very common with 
parents to wish to give their children an oppor- 
tunity of obtaining qualifications superior to what 
they themselves have had the means of acquiring, 
and which they have either admired or heard 
commended in others. This is certainly a very 
laudable ambition, provided a proper regard is 
had to suit the mode of education to that station 
of life which their children are likely to fill. 
For want of attention to this matter, many 
parents have fallen into errors, productive of still 
more serious consequences than the evils com- 
plained of by my correspondent. As Mr. Plain 
has not been very explicit, respecting his circum- 
stances and situation, I shall not take upon me to 
inquire how far it was prudent in him to be at 


the expense of teaching his daughter French and 
music. These are certainly elegant, and often 
useful accomplishments. The force of custom 
has rendered the former almost indispensable 
among persons who have any pretensions to 
fashion or gentility. I shall not here undertake 
to decide how far this is right or wrong ; though 
I may perhaps be allowed to hint, that the utility 
of such an acquisition to others, who possess not 
these pretensions, may be questioned. Indeed, 
without being influenced by that national anti- 
pathy by which my countrymen often think 
they best display their patriotism, there do seem 
to be strong grounds for lamenting, on public 
principles, the prevalence of the French lan- 
guage in our seminaries of education. It was the 
avowed object of one of the most eminent states- 
men of the age of Louis XIV. to pave the way 
for the ascendancy of France, by cultivating and 
refining that language, and extending the know- 
ledge of it more generally. To its prevalence 
throughout the continent of Europe, and the 
consequent dissemination of French principles, 
may be ascribed a great part of the recent suc- 
cesses of their armies, which have nearly realized 
the scheme of universal empire; nor is it impro- 
bable that the same cause may produce similar 
effects in this island, Our own history will fur- 


nish us with an useful lesson on this head. One 
of our most judicious antiquaries observes, that 
in the reign of Edward the Confessor, it was 
esteemed a piece of breeding for all the lower 
orders of the people to speak the French tongue, 
and to despise the language and customs of their 
own country. This was considered, by sagacious 
observers, as an omen of their approaching con-^j- 
quest by that nation, of whose speech and fashion s 
they were so fond ; and the prediction was veri- 
fied in a few years, by the successful attempt of 
William the Conqueror. 

With regard to music, it certainly deserves to 
be ranked among the most rational relaxations 
of life, — and, where there is a predilection, to it, 
may be cultivated with the utmost propriety, if 
personal circumstances offer no insuperable im- 
pediment. To those whose affluence or situation 
in life renders them, in a great measure, inde- 
pendent of mental or bodily exertion, it will 
yield a constant fund of amusement, and may 
fill up, with advantage, some of those vacant 
hours which otherwise would, perhaps, either be 
passed in ennui or employed in recreations of a 
less innocent nature. I have indeed heard some 
persons invidiously argue in its behalf, that it is 
an exceedingly proper study for those, and those 
only, who without it cannot expect to make a 


noise in the ivorld ; but though I entertain a much 
higher opinion of its value than they who have 
thus characterized it, I cannot help thinking that, 
in the inferior stations of life, acquirements more 
essential to happiness are often neglected for the 
sake of obtaining a smattering in that delightful 
science ; though it is neither of the slightest use 
wiior ever after practised, when once the season 
allotted for education is passed. 

But whatever propriety or impropriety there 
may have been in the mode of education adopted 
by Mr. Plain for his daughter, there can be no 
doubt, from his own allegations, that he has rea- 
son to complain of her conduct. If the kindness 
of parents should enable their children to pro- 
cure greater advantages than they themselves 
have formerly enjoy ed,^the objects of it surely 
ought not to make such advantages a reason for 
returning that kindness with a want of natural 
affection, and a behaviour bordering on contempt. 
Whatever stress may be laid upon exterior ac- 
complishments, in the present age of politeness, 
it ought to be remembered, that these are only 
truly valuable so far as they are indications of a 
cultivated mind. They are the polish, which 
adds indeed to the beauty of the metal ; but 
without it the latter may still be of equal, nay 
perhaps of superior value, for every useful pur- 


pose. That man or woman whose life is marked 
by the faithful performance of the social and 
relative duties, will ever be esteemed more highly, 
by all whose approbation is worth securing, than 
they who are deficient in these particulars, 
though endowed with every natural and acquired 
grace that even the heart of a Chesterfield could 

In conclusion, therefore, I would remind my 
young readers of every description, that the 
claims of parents to the respect, the gratitude, 
and the affection of their children, originate in a 
higher source than the accidental acquisitions of 
art or science; and that the possession of those 
accomplishments which fashion and a highly 
polished state of society have rendered essential 
in a modern education, does not authorise chil- 
dren to treat those persons with unkindness and 
neglect, to whom they are not only indebted 
for these very qualifications, but even for life 

itself. An authority, to whose dictates it may 

be unfashionable to appeal, but which, I hope, 
all who read this paper respect, has expressly 
enjoined — " Honour thy father and thy mother." 
My young readers will please to observe, that 
this command is general, and that it allows of no 
exception with regard to those children whose 
parents may happen neither to be acquainted 


with the rules of politeness, nor know how to 
speak grammatically, nor have any taste for 
music, nor understand French. 


UMBER 32. 

Permit, ye Fair, your idol form, 

Which e'en the coldest heart can warm, 

May with its beauties grace my line. — Green. 

To the Inspector. 

Sir — I have long regretted the abusive lan- 
guage which has been lavishly bestowed on the 
fair sex, in consequence of the present fashion- 
able mode of dressing, or rather of undressing, 
prevalent in the metropolis and other parts of 
the kingdom ; and as you have frequently joined 
in propagating the popular clamour, I hope you 
will be candid enough to give my defence of 
them a place. I am induced to take this liberty 
because I have my reasons for believing that even 
you, Mr. Inspector, secretly prefer a continuance 
of the present fashion, to the revival of the obso- 
lete method of incumbring the body with a load 
of useless clothing, whatever you may aver or 
insinuate to the contrary. 


The principal design of dress, I conceive, Sir, 
is to display the beauties of the person to the 
greatest advantage ; and not, by an old-fashioned 
attention to what goes under the name of mo- 
desty, to conceal those exquisite graces and per- 
fections which nature has so lavishly bestowed 
on the female sex. If experience, therefore, has 
proved to the satisfaction of the'ladies, that an 
unreserved disclosure of their charms ensures to 
them a greater degree of admiration and homage, 
it would be arbitrary, in the highest degree, to 
endeavour to oblige them, either directly or indi- 
rectly, to adopt a different line of conduct. 

Many unanswerable arguments might be 
urged in support of the above fashion ; and, in 
point of economy, in particular, it seems to de- 
serve universal encouragement. But a still more 
honourable motive has been assigned for its pre- 
valence. My friend, Jack Kattle, who is inti- 
mately acquainted with several leaders of the 
mode, assures me that they are actuated solely 
by a desire to relieve the wants of their distressed 
fellow-creatures, by a sacrifice of their own 
superfluities; and that they thus voluntarily 
discard the parade and expense of clothing, in 
order that their inferiors may be enabled to per- 
ceive its inefficacy and inutility. Although, 
fully persuaded, without any irony, of the 


benevolence of our fair countrywomen, I am 
scarcely inclined to credit my friend's account ; 
yet surely the bare possibility of its being accu- 
rate, ought to put a stop to the licentious decla- 
mations of their enemies. 

If we view the subject in another light, we 
may consider the conduct of the ladies as an 
incontestable proof of their candour, and detes- 
tation of hypocrisy. Personal defects are very 
frequently hidden from the world, by means 
of artificial disguises : and nothing, in my 
opinion, more evinces the fortitude and noble- 
mindedness of our females, than their con- 
tempt of the sneers and sarcasms of the world, 
at their publicly exposing blemishes of this kind, 
when put in competition with the benefits likely 
to result from their conduct to society at large. 

It has long been a general complaint, that 
mankind have degenerated from the virtues of 
their forefathers ; and the heroes and heroines of 
preceding ages have been pointed out as fit pat- 
terns for our imitation, and objects of our regard. 
Our ladies, in particular, have been frequently 
reminded of the transcendent virtues of Lucrece, 
Portia, Cornelia, and other famous Roman and 
Grecian characters ; and she has been most ap- 
plauded who has been thought to approach 
nearest to the standard of these celebrated per- 


sonages of antiquity. For my own part, Mr. 
Inspector, I have long thought that our country- 
women were endeavouring to copy after these 
illustrious models, particularly from the simila- 
rity between their dresses and those of the young 
ladies of Sparta; but I now think they are 
stimulated by a desire to attain to a still greater 
degree of excellence ; they appear resolved to 
emulate the perfections of our first mother Eve, 
even when in her purest state of innocence ; 
and from the success of their past exertions, I 
think we may entertain the most sanguine hopes 
of their final success ; and that they will soon be 
enabled to appear like Eve, naked, and not 
ashamed! From the acknowledged influence 
which the ladies possess over the male part of 
the species, the most important effects may be 
expected to result from this circumstance. The 
integrity, simplicity, and patriotism of the 
ancient Romans, may, perhaps, soon be eclipsed 
by our superior attainments ; and probably be 
regarded, in the next generation, with the same 
contempt which these personages would bestow 
on the present race of mankind, were they per- 
mitted to re-visit the land of the living. Who 
knows but that the spirited efforts of our ladies 
may be the means of restoring us to that situ- 
ation which our modern philosophers have long 


regarded as the summum bonum of mankind ; as 
the end to which all our aims should be directed, 
— considered as the only means of breaking those 
fetters which ignorance, prejudice, and super- 
stition have been forging for ages — a state ofna~ 
tureP — What a glorious consideration, Sir, is 
this ! and how ought it to meet the entire appro- 
bation of every enlightened and philanthropic 
mind ! 

Many cavils have been raised against the doe- 
trine of absolute perfection, as disclosed and sup- 
ported in the writings of these worthy sages; 
for my own part, T have not the least doubt of 
the possibility of its attainment, especially on 
the part of the ladies. Whether right or wrong 
in this respect, our fair countrywomen appear to 
be evidently of the opinion of our great Poet, 
(though probably they carry the sentiment farther 
than he intended,) that 

" Loveliness 
u Needs not the aid of foreign ornament, 
" But is when unadorned adorn'd the most." 

I remain, yours, &c. 




Saint Bacchus only they ador'd, 

To whom libations oft they pour'd,— Cowper. 

To the Inspector. 

Sir — An old number of a Medical and Physi- 
cal Journal having lately fallen into my hands, 
in turning it cursorily over, I met with a case 
communicated by a German practitioner, which 
irresistibly caught my attention. This case, Mr. 
Inspector, was that of a Frenchman, aged about 
40, who laboured under a disorder technically 
denomina tedPolydipsia. He is described as 
having had an uncommon thirst for eighteen 
years ; and the quantity of liquors he had drank, 
in that period, was astonishing. He could 
scarcely set the glass out of his hand at any time, 
before he earnestly desired to drink again. Water 
was his principal beverage ; though, as it appears, 
not from choice, but necessity ; as he preferred 
wine, beer, or spirits, whenever he found it possi- 
ble to procure them. These, to the best of my 
remembrance, were some of the most prominent 


What struck me most forcibly on reading this 
account, was, the great similarity irj many of the 
leading symptoms, between this disorder, (which, 
from the manner in which it is mentioned, appears 
to be a phenomenon in the medical annals of 
Germany,) and a complaint very prevalent in 
this country. Not having had the advantage of 
a medical education, I am, perhaps, not properly 
qualified for making remarks on a subject imme- 
diately belonging to that profession ; but I trust 
the following observations will be candidly 
received by your professional, as well as other 
readers. It appears from the above statement, that 
this complaint is not, in general, quickly mortal in 
Germany, as the above Frenchman had laboured 
under it for eighteen years ; and it is observable, 
that several of our countrymen have been afflicted 
with it for a greater length of time. Like him, too, 
they are scarcely able to set the glass out of their 
hands, ere the desire of drinking returns with as 
much violence as before. It deserves to be 
remarked, however, that they have, in general, 
an almost insurmountable aversion to water, and 
seldom, if ever, even in the strongest paroxyms 
of thirst, can they be brought to swallow this ele- 
ment unmixed with more palatable liquors. In 
that circumstance, the difference is strikingly per- 
ceptible. Several symptoms, however, occur in 


this country, which are not noticed in the case 
above recited ; and one in particular, which 
greatly resembles those observable in that disease 
in horses known by the emphatical and expressive 
appellation of the " staggers" A great degree of 
fever is very frequently experienced ; the whole 
habit becomes extremely irritable ; the lips are 
dry and parched ; the tongue prodigiously in- 
flamed, with the tip very sharp, and vibrating 
incessantly in such a manner, as to give a very 
good idea of the perpetual motion. Whether 
these last symptoms are primary or secondary ; 
whether they make against the identity of these 
complaints or no, are points which I must leave to 
be determined by those who are more interested in, 
and accustomed to, such discussions than myself. 
With respect to the cure ; — the means recom- 
mended in Germany were, much thinner dress 
than usual ; the constant use of the cold bath ; 
immersion of the feet in cold water, and keeping 
on the stockings till the moisture had evaporated ; 
exposure to the morning and evening air ; and 
the use of thin covering in bed. By a constant 
attention to this method of treatment, we are 
informed the above patient was considerably 
better, and that he had even frequent intervals of 
an hour, in which he did not desire to drink at 


Though I am a total stranger to the method 
of cure likely to be adopted by the physicians of 
this country, should they ever be called upon to 
prescribe for the disorder I have described as 
existing among us, I cannot refrain from ob- 
serving, that the plan recommended by the 
German physician, would, in all probability, prove 
ineffectual here. Thinner clothing has been 
repeatedly adopted, without effect, by our un- 
fortunate countrymen ; nay, some of them have 
actually stripped themselves to their very shirts, 
without experiencing the least remission or abate- 
ment of the symptoms. Numbers of them, it is 
well known, so far from indulging themselves 
with too great warmth in bed, have parted with 
both bed and bedding to procure relief, and yet 
are precisely in the same predicament as before. 
Even exposure to the morning and evening air, 
or the cold bath, are of no service in this case ; 
since many have frequently braved the severest 
storms of winter, and, with the apathy of Stoics, 
taken up their lodgings for a whole night on a 
couch of snow, destitute of any canopy but that 
of heaven, yet in the morning have awoke tor- 
mented with a thirst as insatiable as that they la- 
boured under on the preceding evening. I am 
well aware, that the same disease frequently 
requires different treatment in different coun- 


tries, else I should consider this a conclusive 
proof of the non-identity of these complaints. 

Were I desired, to give my opinion respecting 
the remedies most likely to prove efficacious in 
this disorder, as it appears in England, I should 
he induced to recommend blistering, and shaving 
the pericranium ; and particularly the mode of 
practice so successfully adopted by that sagacious 
and thrice illustrious physician, Dr. Sangrado, 
of evacuating memory, viz. bleeding copiously, 
and drenching the stomach with plenty of warm 
water ; but as these things are totally out of the 
line of my profession, I shall content myself with 
having called the attention of your medical 
readers to this important subject; and with due 
esteem, remain, Mr. Inspector, 

Yours, &c. 




Against this nearest, loveliest, of our foes, 

What shall Wit meditate, or Force oppose? — Prior. 

To the Inspector. 

Sir, — My attention has recently been arrested 
by some statements respecting the population of 
this country, from whence it appears that the 
number of females considerably exceeds that of 
the other sex. This inequality seems to call 
loudly upon the Legislature to adopt some 
method for preserving that balance between the 
two which contributes so essentially to our hap- 
piness; and, in the opinion of many illustrious 
philosophers, promotes,, in a high degree, the 
civilization of mankind. 

Permit me, through your medium, to throw 
out a few hints as to the means by which the 
evil resulting from this disproportion may be 
remedied ; and the superabundance of females 
employed, in a manner perhaps, congenial to 
their talents, and, at all events, beneficial to the 
community. We have thrown of! many of those 


prejudices which operated upon our unenlight- 
ened forefathers ; thanks to the exertions of a 
Wolstonecraft, and numerous other female phi- 
losophers, our ladies have broken the trammels 
in which they were formerly placed, and their 
natural equality to man has been conclusively 
demonstrated, and exemplified by the stubborn 
evidence of facts. I rejoice, Mr. Inspector, at 
seeing our ladies elevated above the mere drud- 
gery of the nursery, or the kitchen ; but, while 
their right to share in the studies, the pursuits, 
and the avocations of man is asserted, I think their 
warmest advocates cannot deny that they ought 
likewise to participate in his exposures, his pri- 
vations, and distresses. It is upon this principle 
that I beg leave to submit the following scheme 
to the consideration of your readers. 

As there is reason to apprehend that the pre- 
sent war will not be, perhaps, immediately ter- 
minated, and the want of men to fight the battles 
of the State must be more and more felt, I would 
propose that a corps of women be raised, and 
disciplined, in all respects, like our present mili- 
tary ; and that another body of them should be 
allotted to serve in that bulwark of England, the 
navy. Since every one must perceive that there 
would be no greater inconsistency in seeing wo- 
men thus employed than in the male sex nursing 


the bantlings, and attending to all their wants, to 
which a rigid adherence to the new doctrines must 
reduce them, no objection, I hope, will be made 
to this part of my plan. The benefits likely to 
result from it can hardly be appreciated. It is 
well known, that almost every white-livered fellow 
pretends to a little spirit when in the presence of 
his mistress ; and as I should propose to inter- 
mix the sexes upon deck and on the field of 
battle, I think that every man would be stimu- 
lated to greater exertions in the time of action, 
when conscious that he was under the inspection 
of the fair ; and that the fear of having his fame 
eclipsed by so many female competitors, would 
induce him to surpass all his former achieve- 
ments, and, in the language of our admirable 
poet, " out-herod Herod" 

Let not the behaviour of the celebrated Cleo- 
patra, at the sea-fight of Actium, be suggested as 
a reason why the conduct of the fair ought not 
to be depended on in the crisis of action. This 
is but a solitary instance ; and, independently of 
the example of the Amazons in ancient times, 
we have many modern instances upon record 
wdiich incontestably evince the undaunted cou- 
rage and prowess of the female sex. Indeed I 
have not the least hesitation in declaring, that I 
believe many of them are as little actuated by 


fear as several of those gentlemen who wear the 
sash and gorget ; and that, if dressed in military 
or naval habits, they would make equally as good 
soldiers or sailors as those who now wear them. 
Let me not be thought to detract, Mr. Inspector, 
from the merits of our brave defenders ; I would 
only appeal to their own hearts for the truth of 
this statement. 

Another advantage resulting from my plan is 
yet to be noticed. Love, it is well known, is so 
necessary an ingredient in the composition of a 
man of valour, that all the old romance writers, 
(who appear to have studied nature more accu- 
rately than is generally imagined) when they 
would dub an hero, give him a Dulcinea ; and I 
believe I may defy any person to point out an 
eminently valourous enterprize accomplished, 
without a lady being, either directly or indi- 
rectly, concerned in the case. Now as, from the 
very nature of my plan, tender attachments must 
evidently be formed, whether at sea or on land, 
between our heroes and heroines, we should thus 
not only combine the advantages resulting from 
love, with discipline, and a numerical increase of 
combatants, — but a great part of the ensuing gene- 
ration would, perhaps, really and literally be born 
soldiers, or sailors ; — a circumstance not unworthy 
the notice of the most profound politicians. 


In proposing the scheme to you, Mr, Inspector, 
I have not only had in view the wounds which 
our fair country-women, if trained to the use of 
arms, might be enabled to inflict upon their 
opponents, — I would likewise wish to employ 
them in a warfare more congenial, perhaps, to 
their natures, and which, if pertinaciously ad- 
hered to, would doubtless contribute nearly as 
much to the discomfiture of our enemies. The 
propensity to loquacity, which it is generally 
understood they possess, might, I think, under 
proper direction, be rendered fully as dreadful 
to an hostile force as the Grecian wildfire, once 
so commonly resorted to. There is reason to 
suppose, however, that this would not be the 
case indiscriminately ; — to the French it would, 
perhaps, give little annoyance,— but I should 
conceive that to the grave Spaniard, or phlegmatic 
Dutchman, an army thoroughly disciplined in 
this respect, would be more formidable than 
double the number armed in the common way 
with muskets and bayonets. That such would be 
the fact, as regards the Turks, in case of any hostili- 
ties with them, is proved from the remarks of 
Mr. Campbell, who, in his entertaining Travels 
overland to India, observes, "A Turk meeting a wo- 
man in the street, turns his head from her, as if 
looking at her were criminal : and there is nothing 


they detest so much, or will more sedulously shun, 
than an impudent audacious woman." The pro- 
posed plan, would, no doubt, judging from its 
effects on our sex, make the females " impudent," 
and "audacious" enough. He adds, — " To get the 
better of a Turk, there is nothing further neces- 
sary, than to let slip a Virago at him, and he in- 
stantly retreats." 

Should this idea, which, I believe, is exclu- 
sively my own, be approved of, I shall insist 
that the use of the ducking stool be discontinued 
in these realms, — and that a new species of 
recreation be adopted in the army and navy, for 
the exclusive use of the female warriors. Instead 
of firing at a target or floating cask, scolding at 
a mark should be adopted, and prizes given to 
those who excel in Zantippean abilities. Pri- 
soners of war, I think, might be compelled to 
stand as butts for this exercise ; and this would, 
perhaps, spread the terror of our new artillery 
more effectually among the enemy ; since these 
men, if ever they should live to be exchanged, 
would doubtless, give a full recital of their suf- 
ferings to their wondering countrymen. If this 
should be looked upon as an infringement of the 
law of nations, I would propose that the throwing 
of rotten eggs at convicts sentenced to be pillo- 
ried, be prohibited by act of Parliament, — and, 


instead thereof, that they shall be compelled to 
stand a certain number of these wordy vollies, 
proportioned to their crimes. This would be 
promoting the true ends of punishment — chas- 
tisement of the offenders, and benefit to the com- 
munity. But this, Mr. Inspector, by the bye. 

It may, perhaps, be objected by some of those 
malicious souls who delight in thwarting the 
wisest plans, if not the offspring of their own 
brains, that the constitutions of our fair country- 
women render them incapable of undergoing the 
fatigues consequent upon the profession of arms : 
to such I would oppose the high authority of 
Dr. Buchan, who, in his treatise on Domestic 
Medicine, gives it as his decided opinion that 
women are more fitted for sedentary occupations 
than men. Now as confinement in tents or on 
board of transports, for a few months, frequently 
forms one of the principal events in a military 
life, the futility of the above objection must be 
evident to every reader. Besides, it is easy to 
adduce numerous examples from our history, by 
which the competency of women to equal the mili- 
tary performances of the other sex will be rendered 
apparent. Lest I should be accused of acting 
invidiously, I shall not select my instances from 
the annals of the present times, but refer your 
readers back to the middle of the last century ; 


and at the same time corroborate my sentiments 
by the respectable testimony of the author of the 
Idler, as delivered in the following quotation : 
" The troops of Braddock never saw their ene- 
mies, and perhaps were defeated by women. If 
our American General had headed an army of 
girls, he might still have built a fort and taken 
it. Had Minorca been garrisoned by a female 
garrison, it might have been surrendered as it 
was, without a breach ; and I cannot but think 
that 7000 women might have ventured to look at 
Rochefort, sack a village, rob a vineyard, and 
return in safety." 




Say, Damon, why, in mournful guise, 
Indulge the melancholy strain ; 
And spurn the pleasures life supplies, 
Of cares and anguish to complain? 
Far as the mental eye can reach, 
Dost thou no blissful traits discern ? 
Attend to what the muse shall teach, 
And wisdom from the lesson learn. 

When Spring, the landscape to adorn, 
Exerts her renovating pow'r, 
Although the swain awhile may mourn 
The nipping frosts, the chilling show'r ; 
Those scenes the pleasing season yields — 
The op'ning flowers, the purling rill, 
The vocal groves, the verdant fields, 
His breast with genuine raptures fill ! 


Scorch'd by the sun's too fervid rays, 
When every vernal grace recedes, 
And Summer pours th' incessant blaze, 
And decks in russet hue the meads; 
Reclin'd beneath th' umbrageous wood, 
When we the gelid breeze enjoy, 
Or sportive lave the limpid flood, 
No more the sultry beams annoy ! 

When Autumn rears his sickly head, 
And vapours clank the day deform ; 
And earth, with falling leaves overspread, 
Prognosticates a gathering storm ; 
The treasur'd grain exulting o'er, 
That lately grac'd the fertile plains, 
Or meek Pomona's luscious store ; — 
The tyrant's influence man disdains ! 

Ev'n Winter, whose rude breath destroys 
What little beauty Autumn spares, 
Can boast a round of native joys, 
To soften his peculiar cares : 
The festive hour, the mazy dance, 
The circling tale, the fire-side bliss, 
Domestic sweets that life enhance, 
And social intercourse, are his ! 

As thus throughout the changing year, 
In Summer, Winter, Autumn, Spring, 


Nature, the human soul to cheer, 
Delights some lenient grace to fling ; 
So through the varying scenes of life, 
Some bliss appropriate e'er is giv'n, 
To counterpoise its cares, and strife, 
And aid the fost'ring views of heav'n! 

Cease Damon, then, that Pow'r darraign 
From whom existence we receive ; 
Nor rashly deem that cares and pain, 
Are all this mortal state can give; 
Heav'n's wise behests to rev'rence taught, 
E'er keep this cheering truth in view — 
"That though with pain and trouble fraught, 
"Life sure possesses pleasures too \" 


Bewilder'd in the devious ways, 
This labyrinth of life displays, 

Where Virtue oft appears 
By sickness, cares, and ills deprest ; 
While to the skies her haughty crest, 

Triumphant, Vice uprears ; 


Tn vain the sage, whose clouded mind 
No traits of Power Supreme can find, 

The riddle strives t' explore ; 
In vain he prates of Virtue's charms, 
If, clasp'd in Death's relentless arms, 

Man sinks to rise no more ! 

Against th' attack of earthly ills, 
Each truth the moralist instils, 

How vain, how fruitless found ! 
While they who wisdom's precepts slight, 
Oft revel in impure delight, 

With worldly blessings crown' d ! 

And oft some lov'd, ingenuous youth, 
For goodness justly priz'd, and truth, 

The pangs of death must bear, 
While hoary guilt exists secure ; — 
So blasts that smite the fragrant flow'r, 

The noisome nettle spare. 

So late, cut off in early years, 
While Virtue, o'er his corse, her tears* 

In copious streams supplied ; 
To all her genuine friends end ear' d, 
For ev'ry Christian grace rever'd, 

The pious Rodwell* died 1 

* L«eturer of the Holy Trinity Church, Hull; 


That man alone, with soul sedate, 
The thick'ning shades can dissipate 

Of this mysterious gloom, 
Who from the sacred volume draws 
Knowledge of an Almighty Cause, 

And life beyond the tomb. 

Tho' sickness, cares, or grief oppress, 
And to his mental view, distress, 

In awful form, appear ; 
Calmly he bears th' afflictive rod, 
And fearing an omniscient God, 

He feels no other fear. 

Haply should Vice awhile succeed, 
And snatch from Virtue's brow the meed 

She only ought to wear ; 
Or worth, like Rodweli/s, early fall, 
While crowds that guilty joys enthral, 

Still breathe the vital air — 

His faith unshaken still remains ; — 
This pleasing truth his soul sustains— 

" Tho^ not to Virtue giv'n 
" Unbroken bliss on earth to know, 
" Whate'er she loses here belpw, 

" Shall be repaid in heav'n !"' 


Taught hence with fervour to disclaim 
Each loose desire, each grov'ling aim, 

That vicious souls enslave ; 
Endu'd with Faith's all-piercing eye, 
He contemplates eternity, 

And triumphs o'er the grave ! 


Cecilia ! with foreboding sighs, 

Thy cheeks of pallid hue, 
The faded lustre of thy eyes, 

And wasted form, I view ! 
And oft, the vassal of my fear, 

My heart with sorrow swells, 
While Fancy of the shroud, the bier, 

The final parting, tells. 

When erst perform' d the sacred rite 
That link'd my fate with thine, 

How heav'd my bosom with delight 
To call Cecilia mine ! 


Thy tender care, thy faithful love, 

I fondly dar'd presage 
Perennial founts of bliss would prove, 

To life's remotest stage ! 

What tho' her golden gifts to share, 

Still Fortune had deny'd ; 
And doom'd the chilling frowns to bear 

Of supercilious pride ; 
And ills in life too plenteous found, 

To pierce the feeling mind ; 
Thy smiles, I hop'd, for every wound 

A cordial balm to find ! 

Scenes with domestic sweets endu'd, 

I inly joy'd to trace; 
And oft, in Fancy's mirror view'd 

Each future cherub's face ; 
Entranc'd in pleasing reveries, 

The smiling race carest ; 
And scarce, absorb'd in dreams like these, 

The starting tear supprest ! 

Must those enchanting scenes I drew, 

Delight my soul no more ? 
Must thou, my infant Anna, too, 

A parent's loss deplore ? 


Deign, Pow'r Supreme ! my pray'rs to hear, 
And health and succour give ! 

Her mate, her lovely babe, to cheer, 
Long let Cecilia live ! 

" Nor shall thy pray'rs ascend in vain ;" 

(So flatt'ring Hope replies ;) 
" Soon health shall tint her cheeks again, 

" And sparkle in her eyes !" 
Elate th' enliv'ning strains I greet, 

To soothe my sorrows given ; 
And, with anticipation sweet, 

Await the will of heav'n ! 


Parent of earthly blessings, Health, 
Who often fleest the abode of wealth, 
And deign'st in humble guise to dwell, 
Beneath the peasant's homely cell ; 
Hear, and thy choicest influence shed 
Around thy fervent suppliant's head : 
Alike confess'd through every stage, 
From youth's gay spring to wintry age, 


Thy soui-enliv'mng pow'r be shown, 
Nor be thy worth by absence known ! 
Of thee bereft, what joys await 
The rich, the splendid, or the great ? 
What th' envied blessings they possess, 
But gilded trappings of distress ? 
When dim the eye, how faintly shine 
The boasted treasures of the mine 1 
When, unrelenting, fierce disease, 
Doth on the inmost vitals seize, 
How vain the praise by flatt'ry shed, 
The board with costly viands spread, 
The joys which birth or fortune brings, 
The pomp of courts, the pow'r of kings ! 
Thrice happier he, the village swain, 
Who toils a competence to gain, 
Now burns beneath the summer ray. 
Now shivers thro' the wintry day : 
While oft, dissolv'd in luxury, 
The sons of wealth supinely lie, 
And weary wakeful vigils keep, 
Health seals his eyes in balmy sleep ! 
Reason his ev'ry action guides, 
And temp'rance o'er his meals presides. 

Thine is the rosy dimpled cheek, 
The winning smile, the aspect meek. 

N n 


The cheerful heart, the soul refin'd, 
The spirits gay, the vig'rous mind ! 
Those precious gifts to mortals giv'n, 
The boon of all-indulgent heav'n, 
To heighten bliss, alleviate woe, 
Mature beneath thy influence grow. 
Deprived of thee, they oft decay, 
And leave the soul a ling'ring prey 
To pain, anxiety, distaste ; 
And life becomes a dreary waste. 
So, when the sun, with orient ray, 
Illumes the east, and gives the day, 
The plumy warblers cheerful sing ; 
A thousand bloomy flow'rets spring, 
And round their grateful fragrance show'r ; 
All nature feels his genial pow'r. 
But when, by dewy Ev'ning led, 
He hides, in western skies, his head, 
The flowerets fade, their beauty lost; 
In silence droop the feathered host : 
Night's gloomy shades pervade the skies, 
And quick the pleasing scen'ry flies. 



Long time Flavilla, lovely maid, 
By Damon's flattering wiles betray'd, 

In secret anguish pin'd ; 
Long felt the pangs of hapless love : 
At length, in words like these, she strove 

To ease her troubled mind. 

Ye blooming maids, who long to prove, 
The tender tales, the plaints of love, 

Unaw'd by men's deceit ; 
Ah ! greatly cautious shun the snare ! 
Of their insidious arts beware ; 

Nor tempt Flavilla' s fate ! 

Long Damon strove my heart to gain, 
With flattery woo'd, — nor woo'd in vain ; 

Too lovely, charming youth ! 
With ardour oft my lips he prest, 
And clasp' d me panting to his breast, 

And vow'd eternal truth. 


Th* infectious sigh, the glist'ning tear — 
Each symptom of a love sincere 

He fervently display' d : 
What maid could arts like these withstand ? 
Or coldly spurn his offered hand ? 

Or fear to be betray' d ? 

Scarce had my eyes the flame confest, 
His arts implanted in my breast, 

Ere from my love he flies ; 
Pleads pre-engagement ; — while in vain 
I strive my wonted peace to gain ; 

For love that peace denies. 

Ah, Damon, cause of all my woes, 
Why not the fatal tale disclose, 

Before it was too late ? 
Why strive my tender heart to gain ? 
Sure he who joys in giving pain, 

Deserves the harshest fate. 

Soon must remorse thy bosom tear, 
When conscience whispers in thine ear, 

(And conscience soon will speak) 
What torturing pangs Flavilla feels, 
What numerous, undeserved ills, 

She bears for Damon's sake ! 


And ye, his faithless sex, intent 
To sport with feelings nature meant 

For solace here below ; 
Ah, think what torments she must prove, 
Who feels the force of hapless love ! 

Life's bitterest source of woe. 

Should some fair maid your vows have charm'd, 
Your soft endearing stories warm'd, 

An artless passion shew, 
Her fears dispel ; her bliss secure ; 
Nor trifle with a flame so pure ; 

Nor Damon's paths pursue. 



Destructive Time ! whose wonder-working 

Each object here my wond'ring eye surveys, 
Each moss-clad wall, each mutilated tow'r, 

In clear, expressive characters displays ; 


What human arts, or efforts, can withstand 
Thy silent influence, or thy force restrain ? 

Cities and empires sink at thy command, 

And feel their boasted strength, their grandeur, 

The trophied column, marble-sculpturM tomb, 
The lofty tow'rs that seem'd to brave the sky, 

The princely palace, and th* aspiring- dome, 
Sapp'd by thy ruthless hand, in ruins lie. 

Why not on these alone thy might employ ? 

Ah ! why delight to blast, with fatal art, 
The fairest blossoms of terrestrial joy, 

And mock the wishes of the human heart ? 

Oft T, tho' few my years, thy pow'r have prov'd, 
And wept in silence thy resistless sway : 

Fled are the pleasing hours of youth belov'd, 
And all its guiltless joys, to thee a prey ! 

Full many a rapt'rous bliss, which fancy gave, 
Full many a flatt'ring hope dispell'd, I mourn; 

Full many a friend, snatch'd to the darksome 
By thee, relentless ! never to return. 

Should heav'n to hoary age my years extend, 
What future ills life's varied path must strew ! 


What poignant grief, what sighs, this bosom 
To filial duty, love, or friendship due ! 

But meek Religion lends her soothing aid, 
The warring tumults of my mind to calm ; 

Bids resignation every thought pervade, 

And pours into my wounds her healing balm. 

She bids my soul to heav'nly joys aspire, 
And far beyond thy bounded empire soar, 

Where full fruition shall prevent desire, 

And care, and grief, and thou, be felt no more ! 


Why, Florio, wish, to reason blind, 

Heav'n with more sense had Tom supply' d ; 

Or else, in pity to mankind, 

This endless flow of words deny'd ? 

No more, my friend, with weak pretence, 
Arraign the wise decrees of heav'n : 

Know, to supply the want of sense, 
This endless flow of words was giv'n. 



When dew- breathing Eve, in gray mantle array'd, 
O'er the world, with mild sceptre, her empire 
res urn' d ; 
When the moon's silver beams through the branches 
soft play'd, 
And with modest effulgence the landscape il- 
ium' d ; 
Near yon brook which glides gently in murmurs 
Where vi'lets and daisies embroider the green, 
In pastime forgetting the toils of the day, 

The youth of the village disporting were seen. 

Acasto, the hoary, for wisdom rever'd, 

Whose precepts had long the rude villagers 
To all by attractive benevolence endear' d, 

With silent attention their gambols survey'd; 
And oft as the loud vacant laugh caught his ear, 
The dew of compassion distill'd from his eye, 
He wip'd from his time-furrow'd cheek the warm 
Then lean'd on his staff, and thus spoke, with a 
sigh : 


"Play Oil, happy youth ! who, with innocence 
" blest, 
" In guileless amusements your moments em- 
"Your sports how enlivening! how balmy your 
" rest ! 
"No cares deeply rankling, your peace to de- 
" stroy ! 
u Nor yours those false joys quickly ending in 
" pain, 
" Nor passions, fierce blazing, with reason at 
" strife ; 
u This season, ah ! cherish, nor wish to be men ! 
" Ah ! guiltless enjoy the mild morning of life ! 

" Too soon to this calm will rough tempests suc- 
" ceed ; 
" (This truth, ye belov'd, with reluctance I tell ! ) 
" Unnumber'd obstructions your bliss will im- 
" And time, the bright visions of fancy dispel ! 
u Too soon each soft bosom, where peace holds her 
" reign, 
94 The shafts of misfortune and anguish must 
" prove ; 
" Too soon the salt tear your blithe features dis- 
" tain ; 
u Sad tribute to friendship, to duty, or love ! 
<> o 


" Or envy, or avarice, your souls shall enthral, 

" Or fiery ambition, aspiring to fame ; 
u Or dark brooding calumny, bloated with gall, 

" Your cheering pretensions to favour disclaim ; 
" Chill want, or disease, will your vigour repress, 

" Or care-wrinkPd age, surely wasting, tho' slow ; 
" Or guilt's sable horrors your bosoms distress ; 

" Each moment embittering, enhancing each woe ! 

" Acasto, like you, could once frolic and play ; 
" (Smiling Hope ever painting new scenes of de- 
" light) 
" Like you, could with cheerfulness toil thro' the 
" day, 
" And spend in unbroken soft slumbers the 
" night ; 
u Now palsied, decrepid, and bending with years, 

" In vain a short respite from anguish he prays ; 

" No soul-soothing pleasure his bosom e'er cheers, 

" Save that with which Virtue her votaries repays ! 

" But Virtue, alas ! how imperfect below ! 

" And man, how inconstant, how feeble, how 
" frail ! 
" By the wild gusts of passion oft driv' n to and fro, 
" He flies like the feather which floats in the 
" g-ale. 


" Ah ! be cautious betimes ! then, your innocence 
" prize, 
" And let Virtue your every affection engage ; 
a Th' enchantments of Vice, and her pleasures des- 
" pise, 
m Nor in youth hoard up pain and repentance 
" for age. 

" Think not, from those tears, that Acasto desires 
" Your flow of gay spirits, brisk health's rosy glow, 
" Or that vigour unbroke which your gambols in- 
" spires : 
" He envies no pleasures which these can bestow: 
u He weeps for that bliss which with innocence 
" dwells, 
" Too often despis'd for vice, folly, or strife ; 
u This gem the fam'd treasures of India excels ; 
" 'Tis the dew-drop of heaVn, the nepenthe of 
" life ! 

" How long, of this blessing depriv'd, must he 
" mourn, 
"And his stains, time-contracted, with sorrow 
" bewail ! 
" How long must his soul with keen anguish be 
" torn, 
* And remorse, deeply stinging, his bosom 
" assail !" 


He ceased, and in silence gave vent to his sighs ; 

But silence expressive his feelings display' d : 
A trickling torrent burst forth from his eyes, 

As stern recollection his feelings pourtray'd. 


Hail, sportive Iris, deck'd in various hues 
Of solar beams, and show'rs, aerial bred ! 

Thy glowing beauties oft the stripling views, 
And hastes to grasp, with hopes illusive fed. 

Elate he springs along the flow'ry meads ; 

With beating heart his fancy' d prize surveys; 
Mocking his toil, thy transient form recedes, 

And disappointment on his bosom preys. 

Emblem, how striking, of terrestrial bliss, 
And man, intent that fleeting bliss to gain ! 

Who fondly deems the flatt'ring phantom his, 
Till late, experience proves his wishes vain ! 

Still, as the stripling moves, the Iris flies ! 
As life advances, worldly pleasure dies. 



Hail, grateful Ev'ning ! nurse of mild desires ! 

In mantle gray, and starry cincture drest : 
Whose pleasing sway tranquillity inspires, 

And soothes to peace the woe- worn sufferer's 
breast ! 

Friend to the serious soul-improving thought, 
Thy wish'd approach I view with joy sincere — 

Still by the musing bard with fervour sought ! 
Still to the sage, in quest of knowledge, dear ! 

Far from the haunts of pleasure (falsely calPd !) 
The frantic revel, dance, or masquerade, 

Whence, Reason sickening, Nature turns appalPd, 
I woo thy influence in this peaceful shade ! 

Soft as on yonder dew-bespangled plain, 

From modest Cynthia streams the silver show'r, 

Descend, with all the Virtues in thy train ; 
And on my head thy choicest blessings pour ! 

Let Contemplation, sunk in thought profound ; 

Heart-cheering Hope; Content, with mien se- 
date ; 
Brisk Fancy, darting wide her looks around ; 

And meek-ey'd Silence, on thy steps await ! 


Oft when the noisy bustling hours of day, 
And all their soul-distracting cares are fled, 

Ah ! give to pour the pensive moral lay ; 

Or hold sweet converse with th' illustrious dead ! 

And as, inspir'd with reverential awe, 
On works of mouldering sages oft I pore, 

Assist me, with unweary'd mind to draw, 

Transcendent knowledge from their copious store ! 

Give me, with Shakspeare, Fancy's sweetest child, 
To mark the movements of the human heart ; 

And feel, as list'ning to his wood-notes wild, 
Th' emotions soft his matchless scenes impart ! 

Smit with those charms which Milton's strains dis- 

Let me, enraptur'd, trace his daring flight ; 
With Newton, in yon wond'rous orbs survey 

The pow'r, the wisdom, of the God of light : 

Nor be the lays forgot of pensive Young ; 

Beneath thy dewy star, in serious guise, 
Oft let me listen to the truths he sung, 

Fir'd with like ardour for an heav'nly prize ! 

In this auspicious hour my soul befriend ; 
Each virtuous wish to firm resolve mature ; 


Teach me with life celestial hopes to blend ; 

And shield my heart from every thought im- 
pure ! 

Stem with thy lenient hand fell Sorrow's tide ; 

And from each galling chain my mind release ; 
Bid each corroding, anxious thought subside, 

And, in soft accents, gently whisper peace ! 

Whene'er thou visitest this earthly sphere, 

These blessings, Ev'ning, to thy suppliant bring : 

Then will he still thy modest charms revere, 
Nor cease thy praise, in grateful strains to sing ! 


Enjoy, Benvolio, still thy woodbine bowers, 

Thy shrubb'ry, flower- fring'd walks, and straw- 
roofd cot; 

And as, around, its sweets thy garden show'rs, 
May ev'ry blessing be thy happy lot ! 

Erewhile I've lov'd, with curious eye, to feed 
On charms that art and nature lavish'd there ; 

Nay hop'd, perchance, th' elysian scene might lead 
To sweet oblivion of each earthly care ! 


Reft of that peace which erst my bosom knew, 
With heedless steps each devious path I trace ; 

And, dead to all its various beauties, view, 
With vacant eye, the once-alluring place. 

Oh ! if the cup of sorrow were not giv'n, 
Man's resignation and his faith to prove, 

And wean his soul from transient joys, might 
Far from thy lips the bitter draught remove ! 

Else thou, like me, perhaps, ere long must mourn 
Hope's blasted blossoms, life's fair prospects 
Or with thy tears bedew the sacred urn 

Of some lov'd friend, soon number'd with the 
dead ! 

Ah ! then how altered shall yon scenes appear, 
Tho' justly deem'd the residence of taste ! 

Content no more shall tix her dwelling there, 
But ev'n thy garden seem a dreary waste ! 



Plac'd in a world where, for an fathom' d ends, 

By Heav'n's permission, bliss with misery blends ; 
And where a thousand various scenes appear 
To call from Pity's eye the glistening tear ! 
Say what, amid those scenes, can more impart 
A gen'rous anguish to the feeling heart, 
Than to behold the once ingenuous mind 
A prey to guilt and infamy consign' d ; 
See Virtue's image from the soul erTac'd, 
And Vice's temple on her ruins plac'd ! 
What more wild Passion's lawless force repress. 
Than on th J overwhelming torrent of distress 
This poison' d fountain yields to contemplate ; 
And trace its evils in Aspasia's fate ! 

O'er yon neglected form which once could please, 
Though now the seat of misery and disease, 
Charm' d by the music of her prattling tongue, 
A father, mother, once delighted hung : 
By turns they fondly gaz'd, by turns carest ; 
And with one voice their darling- daughter blest. 
And ever when the beauteous infant smil'd, 
A thousand flatt'ring hopes their souls heguiPd. 


With all the parent fill'd, they joy'd to trace 

Her budding virtues in her lovely face. 

Beneath their watchful eyes secure she grew ; 

Exceli'd by none, and equal? d but by few. 

For genius, talents, worth, by all appro v'd ; 

Priz'd for her goodness, for her beauty lov'd. 

Till of their fost'ring care by death bereft, 

In a base world, a friendless orphan left, 

(How shall the muse the mournful tale relate, 

Or in due language paint her hapless fate ! ) 

Betray' d by love, in an unguarded hour, 

She sunk beneath a vile seducer's power ! 

So fall oftimes, a prey to blights severe, 

The fairest blossoms of the opening year ! 

Too soon conclemn'd those poignant woes to 

The sure attendants on illicit love, 
Moek'd and deserted by her perjured swain, 
Theme of his laughter and the world's disdain, 
Where should she turn ? To desperation driv'n, 
She sought not pardon from offended Heav'n ; 
From vice to vice by slow gradations past, 
While each new crime drew vigour from the last ; 
And, all the bloom of early promise fled, 
By prostitution sought her daily bread. 

Alas, how fall'n ! how chang'd ! The modest mien, 
That faithful index of a soul serene ; 


The chaste deportment that respect inspir'd ; 
The thousand nameless graces, once admir'd, 
That gave her every word and look a zest — 
All, all those charms Aspasia late possess' d — 
Where are they now ? When virtue droop'd the head, 
And spread her pennons, these for ever fled ! 
Now in her squalid form what woe appears ! 
Her face of vice the shameless livery wears. 
Houseless, forlorn, without one soothing friend, 
A crowd of harpies all her paths attend ; 
Contempt, Disease, Remorse, heart-rending Pain, 
And meagre Want, compose the ruthless train ; 
And worst of all her numerous ills among, 
The secret consciousness of acting wrong ! 
Till shunn'd by those who once with ardour sought 
To share her smiles, or her endearments bought ; 
Bereft of power one lawless wish to raise, 
An outcast from society she strays ! 

Votaries of Vice ! Ye who, with cruel care, 
For youth and beauty spread the artful snare ; 
Licentious Pleasure's specious baits display, 
And sweetly flatter — only to betray ; — 
Here view, unless against compunction steePd, 
The baleful harvest your enjoyments yield! 
Ere yet successful guilt your bosoms wring, 
And keen remorse there fix her rankling sting, 


The wild career of brutal passion cease, 

Nor joy in spreading misery and disease ! 

Are there who 'midst our social circles shine ] 

And boast their feelings exquisitely fine, 

Yet can unmov'd such evils perpetrate ? 

Their kindness far more deadly than their hate ! — 

Are there who censure liberally dispense, 

Against the rifler of fair innocence ; 

Her lapse from virtue seemingly bewail, 

Yet with base arts th' unhappy wretch assail, 

Blast every prospect on repentance built, 

And plunge her deeper in th' abyss of guilt ? 

Passion or self delusion may suggest, 

Some lulling opiate to each callous breast ; 

Through Reason's faithful glass the impartial see 

Their crimes the same — scarce different in degree ; 

The flimsy sophistry of each proclaim, 

And brand with equal infamy and shame ! 

Ye lovely maidens, blooming as the morn, 
Whose matchless charms our Albion's isle adorn ; 
In whom, possessed of every mental grace, 
Ev'n beauty only holds the second place — 
Beware th' insidious foes those charms create, 
Nor blush to weep at poor Aspasia's fate ! 
Taught circumspection by her sufferings, know 
From one false step what countless evils flow ! 


When first from virtue's path seduc'd to stray, 
Though smooth and pleasant seems the devious way, 
Ere long in air th' illusive prospect flies, 
And gloomy scenes in quick succession rise ! 
DebarrM her erring footsteps to retrace, 
With shame, remorse, and anguish in her face, 
Convinced of folly when, alas ! too late, 
The hapless wanderer mourns her wretched fate; 
Nay oftimes dares the guilty path pursue, 
Though full destruction rushes on her view ! 
Know too, that when some suitor, deem'd sincere, 
Breathes sweetest language in your willing ear; 
And, while persuasion on his accents dwells, 
Of lasting truth, and fond affection tells ; 
Yet dares the bounds of modesty transgress, 
And urges wishes virtue should repress ; 
His heart, uninfluenced by love's chaster glow- 
That source of purest pleasure here below — 
The force of sensual passion may have prov'd, 
And felt desire — but never truly lov'd ! 



When sapp'd by sickness, cares, and growing 
The human frame a ruuVd semblance wears ; 
And sweetest sounds no more the ear pervade, 
And dim those eyes whence lambent radiance 

play'd ; 
The auburn tresses chang'd to locks of snow ; 
The dimpled cheek, where once the roseate glow 
Of youth appear'd, with wrinkles overspread, 
And all the joys of young existence fled ; 
Though weeping friends around the sacred urn 
Death's ruthless stroke with genuine anguish 

Impartial minds approve the blest release, 
And bid the streams of fruitless sorrow cease. 
But when, like plants that in one little day 
Their flower-cups open, blossom, and decay, 
Snatch'd from our arms in life's endearing bloom, 
Youth, beauty, virtue, sink into the tomb, 
What feeling bosom can a sigh forbear ! 
What heart refuse a sympathetic tear ! 

Yet such, Consumption, still thy triumphs prove; 
Sworn foe to all the sweets of social love! 


Alike regardless of the pangs that rend 
The heaving breasts of parent, consort, friend ! 
Where'er transcendent charms combined are seen — t 
The meek deportment, the majestic mien, 
The fine-turn' d form, and soul-expressive face — 
Methinks thy future ravages I trace ! 
And as each beauty rushes on my sight, 
Feel terror, intermingled with delight. 
That far-fam'd monster, whom, in days of yore, 
Pasiphiie to Cretan Taurus bore, 
Thus through Athenian bosoms spread dismay, 
And claim' d, like thee, the loveliest for his prey I 
Yet mild his nature, and his sway benign, 
Compar'd, insatiate ravager ! with thine ! 
When fierce his annual thirst for carnage rag'd, 
Seven youths, seven virgins, still that thirst as- 
While — from remorse, as from compassion, free- 
In Albion, thousands yearly fall by thee ! 

Stranger, as yet, to sickness, grief, or care, 
With ruddy face, and spirits light as air, 
Yon graceful stripling firmly treads along ; 
The pride, the envy, of th' encircling throng. 
In vain would rival swains his worth decry : 
For him each virgin heaves a secret sigh ; 
And from his looks too-partial friends presage 
The flattering promise of a good old age. 


Yet what can these the hapless youth avail, 
When thy insidious train his frame assail ? 
What from his breast avert th' impending- blow, 
That soon shall lay his blooming honours low ? 

Mark yonder fair, that lightly trips the green, 
Inferior scarce to beauty's fabled queen ; 
In every movement what attractive grace i 
What worth depicted in her beauteous face ! 
How bright her glist'ning eye ! her mien how meek ! 
How clear the tints upon her blushing cheek ! 
Who, as along the lovely fair one glides, 
Would think that death amidst those charms resides ? 
Yet there, triumphing o'er his soothing wiles, 
In secret ambuscade Consumption smiles; 
Each grace to heighten every art employs; 
And ornaments the form his hand destroys ! 
Thus in the sacrificial rites of old, 
The destin'd victim, fairest of the fold, 
With flowers was crown'd ere to the altar led ; 
And midst the fatal decorations bled ! 

Yet though his course unmov'd the despot keep, 
And through each vein his subtle poison creep, 
Delusive Hope, in robes celestial drest, 
Instils sweet cordials in the friendly breast. 
The drooping parents her suggestions cheer ; 
A lovelier bloom their darling's features wear ; 


And, as their eyes each fancied change explore, 
They fondly deem the threaten'd danger o'er ; 
And trust, in years remote, from her to prove 
The last sad offices of filial love ! 
Perhaps some husband o'er a consort hung, 
Brimful his eyes and mute his quivering tongue, 
With wistful glance her mien may contemplate, 
And trace the symptoms of approaching fate ; 
Or when the hectic flush adorns her face, 
And o'er each feature sheds peculiar grace, 
May the enchanting sight auspicious deem ; 
On long, long years of mutual pleasure dream ; 
While on his view once more kind Fancy pours 
The blissful visions of the nuptial hours !— 
Officious Muse ! the mournful theme decline, 
Nor longer brood o'er scenes that once were 

Too soon shall Time disrupt the filmy veil ; 
Too soon the tyrant's ruthless hand prevail ! 
The throbbing breast, the lustre-lacking eye, 
The clay-cold hand, the last heart-rending sigh, 
The passing knell, the funeral array, 
The narrow dwelling for the lifeless clay, 
The sounding earth upon its cover cast, 
Too soon shall speak the dear delusion past ! 

How fruitless oft the sage Physician's aim 
To reinvigorate the wasting frame, 


And thence Consumption, (inmate dire !) expel, 

Thy recent loss, Benevolus !* may telL 

Not all thy skill in Esculapian lore, 

Arm'd with each med'cine from th' exhaustless store 

In Nature's womb by chemic process drawn, 

Or choicest simples from the verdant lawn ; 

Not all that art or science could suggest, 

Or the warm feelings of a parent's breast — 

Could the insidious spoiler's claim evade, 

Nor rescue from his grasp thy lovely maid ! 

Yet though, like flowers beneath a wintry sky, 
Ere scarcely blown, life's fairest blossoms die, 
Must our unfeign'd regret no period know ; 
Our trickling tears in ceaseless currents flow ? 
May not true Wisdom balms of sovereign use 
From these afflictive strokes of Heaven educe ; 
As the industrious bees, by nature's law, 
From bitter plants mellifluous juices draw P 
Who can thy early fall, Florella, view, 
Nor, while he ponders, learn to tremble too ! 
Who at his fate in riper years repine, 
That knows how soon the cheerless tomb was thine ! 
E'en round the couch, where gasping oft for breath, 
A youthful victim waits the stroke of death, 

* Dr. J. Alderson, of Hull,— to whom the author ackno\r- 
lcges himself indebted for numerous kind offices during^ long 
scries of years. 


Some viewless being mournful pleasure show'rs 

More sweet than e'er enjoy 'd in Folly's bowers ; 

Wakes in each breast a sympathetic glow, 

And gen'rous pity for another's woe : 

While dear sensations, words can ne'er pourtray, 

.Affection's last sad offices repay ! 

Here slighted Reason, too, her power resumes, 

And strips the world of its deceptive plumes ; 

And while she views, at Death's imperious call, 

Youth, beauty, virtue, prematurely fall — 

On grounds no earthly influence can remove, 

No specious arts of sophistry disprove, 

Draws this conclusion from th' affecting strife, 

" There is another, and a better life !" 



Nay blush not, Miranda, that thus down thy cheek 

The warm tribute of sympathy steals ; 
Nor vainly, impell'd by false modesty, seek 

To suppress what each feature reveals ! 
As, besprent by the dew-drops of morning, the flow'r 

More attractive, more graceful appears ; 
So the fair, whene'er Virtue gives birth to the show'r, 

Far more lovely is seen through her tears ! 


Be it theirs to feel shame, who their sorrow expend 

Upon scenes of fictitious distress ; 
Nor to misery the hand of assistance extend ; 

Nor the wants of the needy redress ! 
O'er some fabled disaster, some Werter, who fell 

To wild passions a victim, they sigh ; 
Yet the couch of Disease, meagre Poverty's cell, 

The dwellings of wretchedness, fly! 

But 'tis thine, with true christian benev'lence endu'd, 

While thy tears their bright sources o'erflow, 
To eradicate thorns that misfortune has strew 'd, 

And alleviate the pressure of woe ; 
From the forehead of sickness to wipe the chill dew, 

The fears of despondency calm ; 
And commingle the ills life discloses to view, 

With humanity's soul-soothing balm. 

Still let others, while brooding o'er fancy-fram'd 

Real claims on their pity discard ; 
Thy superior desert Justice weighs in her scales, 

And apportions a richer reward : 
For thy kind consolations, thy labours of love, 

Shall the blessings of numbers be given ; 
The sweet whispers of Conscience thy conduct ap- 

And thy deeds be recorded in Heav'n ! 




When quench' d th' etherial spark, whose subtile 

Bids through the veins life's crimson fluid flow, 
And man, imperial man, resigns his breath, 
As o'er his eyelids swim the shades of death ; 
What cheering prospects this transition brings, 
In florid strains the Muse of Darwin sings. 
Ye on whose cheeks youth's rosy hue appears, 
And ye whose temples wear the snow of years, 
Whether your hearts some friend's decease bemoan, 
Or, wiser still, anticipate your own ; 
Discard each unavailing sigh and tear ; 
The polish'd bard awhile attentive hear, 
And learn what bliss the future may supply, 
When mouldering in the grave your bodies lie ! 
From seeming evils, know what blessings flow; 
What myriads life to man's destruction owe ! 
How quickly from the cold insensate clay- 
Shall countless beings struggle into day : 
On earth's green bosom vegetate or creep, 
Or airy fields on silken pennons sweep ! 


Forth from the grave, where beauty breathless lies, 
Th' unconscious fair a blooming flower may rise ; 
With native grace, once more some fopling fire, 
To give that incense, late her heart's desire ! 
Tints brighter than the rainbow's hues disclose; 
More grateful fragrance than the blushing rose ; 
Nay e'en allow'd love's thrilling joys to share, 
May to some anther, buoyant through the air, 
With sweet reluctance yield her opening charms, 
<l And clasp the floating lover in her arms." 
The beau who fi utter' d through life's transient day, 
Proud and enamour'd of his rich array, 
A peacock turn'd, may hope to strut around, 
Or march, a diamond beetle, on the ground ! 
There too, the pampered epicure may hope 
To give his darling passion ample scope ; 
In insect shape to taste of fresh delight, 
And gorge at will his ravenous appetite ! 
Freed from those galling fetters, whose controul 
Oft check'd th' ascendant dictates of his soul, 
The lewd, an earthworm, or a snail, may prove 
The bliss lascivious of a double love ; 
Or else a sparrow cleave the ambient air, 
And pleasures envy'd oft enraptured share ! 
E'en thou, Sir Florio, of aurelian fame, 
Freed from the exuviae of the human frame, 
Few years elaps'd, may'st on unwearied wing, 
In air an Emperor of Morocco spring ; 


And there disporting wheel with matchless grace, 
While future knights the brilliant monarch chase ! 
Or if such transformations fate deny, 
Perhaps those forms of godlike dignity, 
(Let no false fears the tender mind appal !) 
May lizards, scorpions, toads, or serpents crawl ! 
While reminiscence lost, as Poets deem 
Of those who sip oblivious Lethe's stream, 
No more in memory's faithful glass they scan 
The pleasures, prospects, of the former man ! 

Are these the sole rewards th' Omniscient mind 
For man's majestic race in death design'd ? 
Must our fine frames, of workmanship divine, 
That minds of wond'rous faculties enshrine, 
Thejruin'd fate of time-struck fabrics share, 
That weeds may shoot and reptiles nestle there ? 
Can sage Philosophy, whose piercing eyes 
Explore the secrets of the earth and skies, 
Nought else impart, to chase those clouds away 
That round the cemetery's precincts play ? 
Must we for these all future prospects give, 
And nobler man expire, that worms may live ? 
No ! — -From yon realms, where day eternal beams 
To chase these clouds, a ray celestial streams ! 
He at whose bidding, from chaotic night, 
This wide-extended system sprung to light, 


With whom all might, all knowledge dwells, hath 

That soon shall man, though numbered with the dead, 
His pristine form, with nobler powers, resume, 
And burst the barriers of the cheerless tomb ! 
Secure in God's omnipotence and truth, 
The Christian hopes, in never failing youth, 
Before his high empyreal throne to stand, 
And trace the works of his creative hand ; 
His boundless wisdom, mercy, might, explore ; 
And, lost in wonder, reverence and adore ! 
There too, he fondly hopes to join the train 
Of friends departed — ne'er to part again ! 
With them unmingled pleasures to enjoy, 
No time can lessen, no event destroy. 

How mean, compar'd with joys like these, how 

The fine spun theories of the poet's brain ! 
Still boast, Philosophy ! thy prospects drear : 
With such the bosoms of thy votaries cheer ; 
Give them to trace their fate 'midst changing forms 
" Of brother-emmetts and of sister-worms ;" 
Be mine the boon, by thee, Religion ! giv'n ; 
Thy hopes of future life, and endless bliss in 

Heav'n ! 




Once more, lone Apedale, I survey 
Thy heath- clad banks, and hillocks gray ; 
Yon mansion near the road, where late 
Devoid of ostentations state, 
The train of social virtues dwelt ; 
And where, life's growing- cares -unfelt, 
Endearments friendly, converse mild, 
And jocund mirth, my hours beguil'd ; 
While, (since alas ! how seldom found !) 
Peace and Contentment hovering round 
Their influence shed ; — the purling rill, 
The winding brook, the neighbouring mill ;— 
Scenes that in Fancy's colours drawn, 
I priz'd above the fairest lawn ; 
And though a barren wild they seem'd, 
Scarce less than an Elysium deem'd ! 
Now from this lonely spot removed 
The friends, so long, so dearly lov'd, 
In vain I cast my eyes around 
In search of beauties erewhile found ! 
The charms that fi r'd my soul are fled ; — 
Hoarse murmurs o'er its pebbly bed 
The turbid brook ; with harsher sound 
The neighbouring mill revolves around ; 


Driven from beneath yon humble roof, 

The social virtues stand aloof; 

Nor tale, nor friendly jibe, nor joke, 

The circling smile or laugh provoke I 

Less bright the purple heath-flowers bloom ; 

Less fragrant far their rich perfume ; 

Less fresh the breeze, the rill less clear ; 

Less fair yon azure skies appear ; 

All these have lost their wonted zest; — 

They speak of pleasures once possest ! 

Yet though deny'd by Heav'n once more 
To prove that bliss here felt before, 
Still Apedale, still, while life shall last, 
Pll prize thee for th' enjoyments past ! 
As musing in some lonely bower, 
I pass the melancholy hour, 
While rising sighs my bosom swell, 
Too faithful Memory oft shall tell- 
Though from thy scenery far remov'd — 
What blissful moments there I've prov'd ! 
And still the muse in numbers meet, 
This useful lesson shall repeat ; — 
" The studious, well-directed mind, 
" A bliss as exquisite may find, 
" Though midst a seeming desart plac'd, 
99 As courts or cities ever taste." 



Theodore, in the works of creation well vers'd, 
Many plants and their habitudes knew ; 

And as oft he their nature and virtues rehears' d, 
Some sage lesson the moralist drew : 

"Let not mortals, (he cried) the instruction disdain, 
" That these lovely productions supply ; 

"For our use, our example, they decorate the 
plain ; 
" Tis for man they bud, blossom, and die ! 

" O'er the loam-fields of Kent, their green heads 
to the day 

" A vegetive phalanx uprear ; 
"There shortly, matur'd by the sun's genial ray, 

" Shall the Hop's silver floscules appear. 

" And see ! round yon poles, firmly fixed in the 
" ground, 

" How each plant's spiral tendons entwine ! 
« Thus the Oak by the Ivy encircled is found, 

" And the broad spreading Elm by the Vine ! 


" But if from yon branches that, waving in air, 
"O'er the Hoplands adjacent extend, 

u The embrace of the fugitive claspers to share, 
" A like pole, fitly plae'd, you suspend ; 

" Perad venture awhile the young shoots may, 
" indeed, 

" Its assistance apparently court ; 
u But they soon, as if highly disdainful, recede, 

" From the false and unstable support ! 

"Shall a plant to which Nature has reason 
" deny'd, 
"Such an instance of prudence display, 
"While the Lords of creation, the vassals of 
" pride, 
"With indifference the lesson survey? 

"To the world's feeble succours, that quickly 
"must fly, 

"Be no longer your confidence giv'n ! 
"But, convinced how delusive the aid they supply, 

" Fix your hopes and affections on Heav'n ! " 




A moment, passenger, here cast thine eye ; 
Beneath this stone three lovely children lie ! 
Heav'n, in the bud, the fragrant blossoms view'd, 
With graces fit for purer climes endu'd; 
And deemed the world unworthy of their 

So called them hence to their Redeemer's arms. 
Swift at the mandate of the King of Kings, 
Attendant angels spread their golden wings, 
And bore, with hymns of joy, their souls away 
To the bright regions of eternal day. 
Drop for these babes no tear, nor dare to 

grieve ; 
Repent ! thy Saviour's offered grace receive ! 
Soon thou with them in endless bliss must 

Or be condemned to ever-during pain ! 



Thou scourge of mortals, earth-born Care, 

Whose looks, that vengeful tidings lour, 
And haggard mien, and restless air, 

Too truly indicate thy pow'r : 
Thine arrows rankling in his breast, 

Man's choicest blessings oft destroy ; 
To life impart a loathsome zest, 

And poison every source of joy ! 

Scar'd by thy frowns, no more the Muse 

The Poet's lonely moments cheers ; 
With half-averted face she views 

The heaving breast, the trickling tears ! 
From where thy vulture-train reside, 

She and her handmaid Fancy flee ; 
Nor will the heav'n-born pair divide 

The empire of the mind with thee ! 

E'en Sleep, that o'er the weary soul 
Delights her opiate dews to shed, 

Her poppies drops at thy controul, 
And flies the care-worn wretch's bed ; 


Or should her influence chance prevail, 
And slumbers o'er his eye-lids steal, 

More dreadful scenes his mind assail, 
In dreams, than waking hours reveal ! 

Full oft, before some savage foe, 

Pard, tyger, lion, wolf, he falls ; 
Or, reft of pow'r, a ruffian's blow 

To shun, for mercy vainly calls ! 
Or hears, aghast, the torrent roar, 

And views approach th' impetuous flood ; 
Perspires apace at every pore, 

And groans, while horror chills his blood I 

How irksome then the moments seem, 

When, its delusions scarcely broke, 
He trembles at th' affrighting dream, 

And courts in vain Sleep's kindlier yoke ! 
Still, still, thy harpies intervene, 

Chasing away the pow'r benign ; 
While darkness clouds creation's scene, 

To make the victory surely thine ! 

Cast on the stormy sea of life, 

What pangs the too susceptive mind, 

Amidst its tempests, cares, and strife, 
Throughout each fleeting year must find ! 


As tremble yonder aspen-leaves, 
The sport of every wind that blows, 

So, Care, thine iron sway bereaves 
The feeling bosom of repose ! 

How shall we mortals then withstand 

Thy heart-corroding" tyranny ? 
Who shall arrest thy ruthless hand, 

And set the wretched prisoners free ? 
See where descends a form divine, 

Whose arm a wond'rous cross sustains ! 
Despot ! thy hapless prey resign, 

Religion comes to break their chains ! 

Confiding in the love of Heav'n, 

Beneath its fostering care secure, 
Although on earth 'tis often giv'n, 

Heart-rending evils to endure ; 
Elate with hope, with patience steePd, 

Resign' d the galling load we bear ; 
And, arm'd with Faith's impervious shield, 

Defy thy poison' d weapons, Care ! 



Now, in his hoary honours drest, 

Stern Winter sways the subject plains ; 

And, frowning-, shakes his snowy vest, 
And binds the floods in icy chains. 

Reluctant Nature owns his pow'r, 
And bids her plumy songsters cease ; 

No more the grove, the woodbine bow'r, 
The gurgling brook, or meadows please. 

Yet Hope the dreary scene beguiles, 
And, placid, points to brighter days, 

Where genial spring, with soothing smiles, 
Her verdant, flow'ry charms displays ! 

Should wrinkl'd age, thee, Florio, seize, 
With palsy' d limbs and temples grey ; 

Or, 'midst the prime of youth, disease 
Forbid thy vital fount to play : 

When health no more thy bosom warms, 
And life's frail pleasures wither'd lie, 

At death's chill touch ; as nature's charms 
Before the breath of winter fly : 

s s 


So then may Hope, in that dread hour, 
To thee her choicest cordials bring, 

And waft thee to that peaceful shore 
Where ever blooms perpetual spring 


O thou ! the nymph with humid eye, 
E'er prompt to heave the tender sigh, 

And bid the tear to flow, 
As listening to the plaintive tale, 
Or when misfortune's shafts assail, 

Or mournful sights of woe. 

In all thy magic graces drest — 
The modest azure-tinctur'd vest, 

The soft expressive mien — 
Do thou my inmost frame pervade, 
And brighten with thy soothing aid 

Life's ever- varying scene ! 

To me thy choicest gifts impart — 
Each mild emotion of the heart ; 
Philanthropy refin'd ; 


The wish humane ; the feeling soul 
Obedient still to thy control ; 
The sympathizing mind. 

Wide as the scale of life extends, 
Where heav'n in strictest union blends 

Each bliss with large alloy, 
My breast with circling kindness fill ; 
Dispose to soften every ill, 

And heighten every joy. 

But chief, ah ! give to smooth the span, 
To meliorate the lot of man, 

And all his cares beguile : 
Nor while less noble fates I mourn, 
Let me, with unrelenting scorn, 

On human sufferings smile. 

Far from those fields where Fury reigns, 
And ruthless War th' ensanguin'd plains 

With dreadful carnage strews, 
As oft on Fancy's wing I soar, 
Teach me their horrors to deplore, 

With sorrow's friendly dews. 

Ah ! give with pity's healing balm 
The woe-perturbed mind to calm, 
And bid its tumults cease ; 


The weak, desponding, soul to cheer, 

To wipe from misery's cheek the tear, 

And gently whisper peace ! 

These blessings, heav'n-descended maid, 
On me, thy humble suppliant, shed ; 

My fervent pray'rs receive ! 
Beneath thy influence I'll despise 
The torpid, cold, unripen'd joys, 
Which apathy can give. 



For your friendly proposal, Lucinda, receive 
All the tribute a heart, truly grateful, can give : 
Nor esteem me capricious, uncivil, or queer, 
If professing your beauty and worth to revere, 
For the reasons my muse shall hereafter assign, 
The kind offer you make 1 would humbly decline ! 

Soon the trifling disorder whose influence I prove 
Some slight sanative med'cine I trust will remove j 


But were you my Physician, such exquisite grace, 
Such loveliness beams in your person and face ; 
With so bright an assemblage of virtues combined — 
So attractive your converse, well-cult ur'cl your 

mind, — 
That if rightly your power and my weakness I read, 
A disease more unyielding would quickly succeed. 
On my face, from whence sickness the rose has 

As your looks, in research of its symptoms, were 

To my slow wasting fever, your soul-searching eye 
Would a copious accession of fuel supply ; 
And recall* d by each glance, o'er my cheeks once 

With the rose would the lily alternately reign ! 
Your soft touch to my pulse quicker motion impart, 
And with strange palpitations disorder my heart : 
While my breathing laborious, and sighs half sup- 

The emotions too plainly disclose in my breast : 
And, too dear to relinquish, too strong for controul, 
Such a magical langour pervade my whole soul, 
That to sickness so sweet all aversion would cease, 
And the lovely Physician become my disease ! 
Till your fetters condemned, without hope, to endure, 
Throughout life I must languish, nor wish for a cure ! 


Since a soul like Lucincla's no bliss can receive 
From imparting a passion she could not relieve, 
I adjure you, fair maid, by the Graces and Smiles, 
Spare a heart too susceptive of love's tender wiles ! 
Nor while numbers around you, more suitable, sigh, 
To the friend of your virtues forgiveness deny, 
If his safety by flight he attempt to obtain; 
Since all hopes of resistance or conquest are vain ! 



Ye mould'ring cliffs, along whose utmost verge, 
In meditation rapt, I've often stray'd, 

While foaming at your feet the billowy surge, 
Mocking restraint, in waves successive play'd. 

I come to contemplate your scenes once more ! 

But ah ! how changed ! — The place where erst 
Pve stood, 
List'ning, half breathless, Ocean's sullen roar, 

Now lies ingulph'd amidst the circling flood ! 


And many a plant enduM with sovereign pow*r, 
That o'er your borders shed a verdant grace, 

And many a wild but richly tinctur'cl flow'r 
That flourished there, I vainly strive to trace ! 

Reflection solemn ! — Here my wounded mind 
In pleasing sadness would awhile repose ; 

And from the altered scenery seek to find 
A fancied semblance of her real woes ! 

Wrought into tempest, as the raging main 
Saps the foundation of these cliffs sublime, 

So fall those pleasures which to life pertain, 
Before the billows of devouring Time ! 

Yon rocky point alone unmovM remains, 
Amidst th* assault of congregated waves ; 

Boldly the oft-repeated shock sustains, 
And all the fury of the tempest braves ! 

Thrice happy he who thus his hope and care 
Hath on the " Rock of Ages" firmly cast ; 

Though Time this earth may from its basis tear, 
Yet his dependence shall for ever last ! 



" No more my bosom's peace to wound, 

" The oft-told tale relate, 
" Of troubles you, my friend, have found 

" To vex the marriage state ! 
w The querulous, capricious mind 

" Deserves contempt and scorn, 
" That hopes in life's parterre to find 

" A Rose without a Thorn P* 

Thus Jack to Tom, his comrade dear, 

With peevish accents spoke ; 
For Tom had groaned full many a year, 

Beneath the nuptial yoke ; 
A termagant his consort proved, 

Devoid of female grace ; 
From Hecate scarce in form remov'd, 

In temper, or in face. 

" My friendly monitor, I must 
" (Nor let it raise your pride) 

r< Confess your observation just ;" 
Thus quickly Tom replied; 

" But think how hard his fate must be, 
" How piteous sure his woes, 

u Who's destin'd to possess, like me, 
" The Thorn without the Rose /" 




Discard, my yet unpractis'd friend, 

Thy too fallacious art ; 
Nor from the changeful mien pretend 

To read the human heart ! 
T* unmask hypocrisy and guile, 

How vain thy boasted skill ! 
Know man, alas ! " can smile and smile, 

" And be a villain still !" 

If e*en, within thy youthful breast, 

No passions yet reside 
That Conscience e'er would wish represt — 

No thought that Virtue hide. ; 
Some secret sting thy heart may wound, 

Some woe thy bosom feel, 
That to th' observant crowd around 

No feature will reveal ! 



How lovely yonder Rose appears, 

The garden's choicest pride ! 
Tints art can ne'er depict it wears, 

And scatters fragrance wide ; 
Yet while its various beauties o'er 

Thine eye delighted strays, 
Learn that upon its inmost core 

A ruthless insect preys ! 

And thus, ere long, my friend shall find, 

By sage experience taught, 
The face, his index of the mind, 

With false impressions fraught ! 
And doom'd himself the ills to share 

Life's varied scenes impart, 
Evince — the cheek a smile may wear 

While sorrow wrings the heart ! 


(See the Ballad of "Henry and Emma" in Matte? s Poems. J 

Ye whom design or chance may lead 

Awhile to wander here, 
Attend ; nor, as these lines you read, 

Refuse to shed a tear. 


No tale they tell of fictious woe, 

In Fancy's colours drest ; 
Inhum'd this modest stone below, 

Two faithful lovers rest. 

Equal in every thing save wealth, 

Their wishes too the same, 
Long time the youthful pair by stealth 

Indulged a mutual flame. 

But sordid parents interpos'd, 

And wedlock's rites deny'd ; 
The youth his eyes despairing closed— 

The maiden heard — and dy'd ! 

Their hapless fate, ye parents, hear, 

Nor while you mean to bless 
Your darling child, — with frowns severe, 

A virtuous flame repress. 

And ye whom youth and beauty fire, 

Unequal leagues to prove ; 
Learn to suppress each rash desire, 

Nor ruin court — for love ! 



Clasp'd in my arms as Celia laid, 
Enrapt with pleasing dreams of bliss, 

I fondly press' d my lovely maid 

To giant the precious boon — a kiss ! 

Abash'd, her head the nymph reciin'd, — 
My freedom with a frown repress' d ; 

Yet, though her features seem'd unkind, 
Methought no anger fir'd her breast. 

" And is it thus, too cruel fair, 

" You treat your faithful swain ?" I cried ; 
" My passion spurn' d, and this my prayer, 

" Dictated by your charms, deny'd ! 

" Farewell, ingrate! some other swain 
" May strive that frozen breast to move ; 

w A kinder nymph Til seek to gain, 

u Whose heart shall yield me love for love !'■ 

Almost with thrilling joy distraught, 
I heard the blushing fair reply — 

" And tell me, where was Damon taught 
" That not to give is to deny P" 



Oft have divines and sages taught, 
" Our earthly hopes how frail 1" 

Yet has their doctrine, wisdom-fraught, 
Been deemM an empty tale. 

Some bliss, thro' Fancy's optics view'd, 
All hope to gain to-morrow ; 

Still does the prize our grasp elude, 
Replac'd, alas 1 by sorrow ! 

As mortals frequently 'tis seen, 

Upon this precept trample, 
So, please my muse, its truth I mean 

T* illustrate by example. 

" Long time Pve led a weary life/' 
Cries Tom, with hope elated ; 

" To Kate, my vixen of a wife, 
" By wedlock subjugated : 

" At length my liberty I gain, 
" Thank Fortune for the favour ! 

" For Kate this night her bed has ta'en, 
" And all the world can't save her. 


u Then welcome days and nights, replete 
" With joys transcending measure ! 

" Nought henceforth can my bliss defeat, 
" Or freeze the tide of pleasure !" 

Ye whom such reveries delight, 
By Tom's mishap take warning — 

Kate took her bed on Thursday night, 
But — rose on Friday morning ! 




How needful thine assistance, Fortitude, 
To him who, curst with feelings too refm'd, 

Must brave the chilling blasts, the buffets rude, 
That e'er on earth await th* ingenuous mind ! 

Tho' slender oft the cause of grief appear, 
His fine sensations keenly barb the dart ; 

Its slightest impulse, fraught with pangs severe, 
His bosom pierces — vibrates to his heart. 

By thee supported, tho' perforce his soul 
Must oft the ills that cloud existence share, 

He firmly dares the tide of grief controul, 
And since he still must suffer, learns to bear. 

Thou only canst his peace of mind ensure, 
And to his morbid feelings minister a cure ! 



From where yon numerous masts to Heav'n 

And Humbria's turbid stream to Ocean glides, 
Whene'er with weary step, my course I bend 

To where my Anna (infant dear!) resides ; 

Impel? d alternately by hopes and fears, 
My ardent wishes far my feet out-run ; 

How long-, how tedious still the path appears ! 
How ling'ring in his course the tardy sun ! 

But what transcendent bliss my toil repays, 

When, round my neck with chaste endearments 

Upon her smiling face I fondly gaze, 

Or hear the music of her prattling tongue — 

They only can conceive whose bosoms prove 
The sweet emotions of parental love ! 



Tho' more to dwell within thy peaceful walls, 
To me, lone Aped ale, haply fate denies ; 

Yet Mem'ry oft thy soothing charms recals, 
And Fancy bids the mimic structure rise. 

Pleas' d, in her magic mirror I survey 

The blissful seat, remote from noise and strife, 

Where beam'd each social, each enhVning ray, 
That gilds with soft'ning tints the shades of life. 

Methinks thy friendly habitants I view, 
Esteem and love pourtray'd in ev'ry eye ; 

Each cheek distain'd with fond affection's dew ; 
While ev'ry bosom heaves for me a sigh ! 

Fled is each grief, if grief thy scenes could give \ 
Thy pleasures only in remembrance live 1 

u u 



Tho' thousands hail thee, harbinger of spring, 
And with thy ditty loud applauses blend, 

To me thy strains no soft sensations bring ; 
Thou faithful emblem of the faithless friend ! 

When fraught with pleasure fly the laughing 


And Fortune's genial gales propitious blow ; 

When bounteous heav'n its choicest blessings 


Like thine, his flattering gratulations flow ! 

But when the pleasing scene revers'd appears, 
And scorching suns, or wintry storms arise ; 

And changeful life an adverse aspect wears, 
Like thee, he pants for more auspicious skies ! 

As cease thy venal lays when spring retires, 
With prosperous days false friendship e'er 



Come, Philomela ! from the southern grove, 
Thy favour'd haunt, here deign awhile to stray ; 

And as, on Humbria's banks, forlorn I rove, 
Pour on my listening ear thy plaintive lay ! 

Oh ! how I long, when creeps the joyless hour, 
And o'er the landscape evening's shades descend, 

Musing, to sit in some sequester'd bower, 

And with thy song my sighs responsive blend ! 

Then, as adown my cheek the salt tears steal, 
Let thy soft notes in mournful cadence flow, 

Till, quite unneiVd, their magic power I feel ; 
Immers'd in all the luxury of woe ! 

Strains so extolPd as thine must sure impart 
Most exquisite sensations to the wounded heart ! 




See where, a wond'rous edifice to raise, 
His hours the youthful architect employs ; 

With busy face the fragile pile surveys, 
And o'er its fancy' d beauties inly joys ! 

The pigmy dome in puerile grandeur stands ! 

Yet e'er its towers to wishM perfection rise, 
Blasting his hopes, it sinks beneath his hands, 

And, lamentable sight ! in ruin lies. 

Spectator, smile not at the luckless youth ; 

Here view thy folly, here thine error trace, 
If still, regardless of the voice of truth, 

Thy hopes are grounded on an earthly base. 

A breath, a touch destroys his card-built wall :- 
Death strikes, all sublunary blessings fall 



Come, meek Religion ! with thy smiles serene, 
The gloomy clouds of earthly cares dispel ; 

Wean my affections from this transient scene, 
And give my heart with heav'nly hopes to 
swell ! 

Do thou each erring, wand'ring thought repress, 
Curb each fierce passion, check each wild desire ; 

With grateful love my feeble powers possess, 
And fill my bosom with celestial fire ! 

Let Pleasure's thoughtless train their orgies keep ; 

Elate in quest of sweets forbidden rove; 
And sense of guilt in cups oblivious steep ; 

Be mine that bliss thy faithful votaries prove ! 

Thro' life with liVral hand thy blessings show'r; 
With joys ecstatic crown my dying hour ! 




Charm'd by the candle's fascinating rays, 

See where around yon thoughtless insect flies ! 

Receding oft, as oft it courts the blaze, 

Till caught at last, it quivers, shrinks, and dies ! 

So fares the youth whom vicious joys allure ! 

Eager to fly where Pleasure seems t' invite, 
Despising counsel, now, in thought secure, 

He feels her baleful influence with delight ; 

More cautious now, awhile he shuns the snare ; 

But soon the wild, licentious wish returns — 
In vain do Reason, Virtue, cry " beware !" 

To prove the fancied bliss his bosom burns : 

Till taught too late his error to deplore, 

A self-devoted prey, he falls — to rise no more ! 



Hornsea ! to me how sweet, how justly dear, 
Each modest charm thy well-known scenery 
yields ; 
Thy sea-beat shore, thy island-spangled Mere, 
Thy airy walks, bright meads, and cultur'd 

For that when first these charms to witness 
By wayward fortune, friendless and unknown, 
Benignus* deign'd the timid youth to note; 
My converse wish'd, and bless'd me with his 
own ! 

With fostering hand he lib'rally supply'd 
The mental food which most my soul desir'd : 

His friendship filPd my heart with honest pride ; 
His precepts form'd me, his example firM ! 

While thro' my veins the crimson tide shall roll, 
For this thy scenes shall e'er delight my grateful 

* The late Rev. H. R. Whytehead. 




Late as this wat'ry, wide expanse I view'd, 
Serene and calm the polish'd surface laid ; 

Sleeping, unruffl'd by commotions rude, 
While zephyrs gently o'er its bosom play'd 

Now mountain waves the liquid plain deform, 
And, foaming, lash the loud-resounding shore ; 

In awful grandeur reigns the raging storm ; 
The bleak winds whistle, and the surges roar. 

Say, views not here the moralizing mind, 
Amidst the changes of th' inconstant main, 

The ever-varying state of human kind, 

Grief following joy, and bliss succeeding pain? 

Wave yields to wave, the calm to stormy strife: — 
Such scenes the ocean shews — and such is life ! 







The melancholy and affecting circumstances attending the 
death of the celebrated Voltaire, as related by the Abbe* 
Barruel, in his Memoirs of Jacobinism, and corroborated by 
the testimony of that worthy and truly respectable Philoso- 
pher, M. De Luc, having made a deep impression on the mind 
of the Author of the following Poem, he has therein endea- 
voured to place those circumstances in a striking point of 
view ; and in order to shew the power of Religion on the 
Human Mind, and its superior efficacy in administering con- 
solation and support in the hour of sickness and of death, he 
has contrasted the last moments of the sceptic Philosopher 
with those of the pious and virtuous Addison, 

Hull, June, 1802. 


Since this little Poem was first published, the circumstances 
referred to in it, respecting the death of Voltaire, have been 
repeatedly contradicted ; and even very recently, in an ela- 
borate article on the writings of that multifarious author, in 
the Foreign Review, No. vi, the able writer of that critique 
has indicated his disbelief of them. These considerations 
had partly induced the author to withhold the re-publica- 
tion of his Poem. He has recently, however, been made 
acquainted with some particulars relative to the last hours 
of Voltaire, which fully corroborate the view here taken; 
and which were communicated by the niece of Voltaire, 
to the relatives of the late Sir Robert Chambers, Knight, 
formerly Chief Justice of Bombay, who died in her 
house, at Paris, a few years ago. The author had hoped to 
have been enabled to give those particulars in a detailed and 
authentic form. At present, however, he must content 
himself with stating, upon most respectable authority, that 
they amply justify the subsequent representation. 

Hull, July, 1829. 




While daring sceptics, swoln with haughty 
The pious Christian's humble hopes deride, 
And vainly strive, with meretricious art, 
To root each moral virtue from the heart ; 
And sap those doctrines by a Saviour giv'n, 
(The rich spontaneous boon of gracious Heav'n ;} 
In expectation conscience calm to keep 
" With the sad solace of eternal sleep ;" 
How fit to mark, when fail the springs of life, 
And nature sinks beneath tfr unequal strife ; 
When earth's delusive scenes no more delight, 
But dread futurity appears in sight, — 
What diff'rent feelings, in that hour of woe, 
The dying Sceptic and the Christian know ! 

See where, encircled by his atheist train, 
A wretched prey to agonizing pain, 


Upon his death-bed lies, in deep despair, 
The gay, the witty, profligate Voltaire ! 
A man to every modern sceptic dear ; 
Whose arts they follow, and whose name revere ! 
He who first gave their darling project birth, 
Of rooting out religion from the earth ; 
•And, vain of praise by fawning flatt'rers giv'n, 
Dar'd hurl defiance in the face of Heav'n. 
With specious talents curs'd, in quest of fame, 
Lur'd by th* attraction of a guilty name, 
He those endowments 'gainst the donor turn'd ; 
And with infuriate zeal and ardour burn'd 
Each vestige of the gospel to efface, 
And crush* the Saviour of the human race. 

Long time, a stranger to remorse or fear, 
He held unchecked his infamous career ; 
Round Europe saw his impious doctrines run, 
And triumphed in the mischiefs he had done. 
Ev'n then, when, near the summit of desire, 
He fear'd with joy excessive to expire, — 
Grown grey with age, and hard en' d in his crimes, 
(Example terrible to future times !) 

* " Crush the Wretch," — the cant phrase of Voltaire and 
his Associates ; wherewith they used to inspirit one another 
to persevere in their endeavours to extirpate the religion of 
Christ.— See BarrueVs Memoirs of Jaeobi?n'sm, vol. 1, chap. 2. 


Sudden he sinks beneath th* avenging rod 
Of a despised, though long-forbearing God. 
The season destin'd for probation fled, 
Condemn'd to feel, ere number' d with the dead, 
(limners' d in anguish, hopeless of a cure) 
Some portion of those pains the damn'd endure. 

Pre-eminent in guilt ! what now avail 
The witty jest, the philosophic tale ! 
Thy impious friends' uncircumscrib'd applause ; 
Thy laurels gain'd in Irreligion's cause ! 
Can these one solid, genuine bliss impart, 
Or soothe the anguish cf thy throbbing heart? 
Can they one cheering ray of hope beq ueath, 
To gild the gloomy, ling'ring hour of death ? 
Ah no ! — Ye who, in thoughtless folly bred, 
Or by the arts of infidels misled, 
The dreary paths of unbelief have trod ; 
Foes to your Saviour, aliens from your God ; 
If by no vicious practices deprav'd, 
No adamantine chains of guilt enslav'd, 
Your honest souls, in quest of truth sincere, 
The still small voice of conscience yet revere, 
Here pause awhile ; and learn, ere yet too late, 
What pangs the dying Infidel await; 
And what the direful meed which guilt bestows, 
(Prolific source of ever-during woes !) 


For which the choicest joys of life are giv'n ; 
The peace of Conscience, and the hope of Heav'n I 
View yon pale wretch, who late, with haughty 

Like you, his Saviour and his God deny'd : 
Mark how his fiery eyes, that glaring roll, 
Disclose the anguish of his tortur'd soul ! 
Hear him, when griding pains his frame assail, 
His num'rous crimes, his blasphemies bewail ; 
And, with heart-rending sighs, and tears, implore 
That sovereign mercy which he scorn' d before ! 
While conscious guilt and unalloy'd despair 
Still on his lips arrest th' half-utter'd pray'r ! 
See where around his dying couch, a band 
Of anxious colleagues take their watchful stand, 
Intent, with all their wisdom can suggest, 
To soothe his agitated soul to rest : 
With horrid imprecations fierce he cries, 
(Reproach and fury flashing from his eyes,) 
" A vaunt, ye wretches ! hence ! nor aggravate 
" The cruel torments of my dreadful state ! 
" 'Twas ye, accurs'd, who help'd me to procure 
" Those unexampled miseries I endure ; 
" To those atrocious crimes how justly due, 
" So much applauded and admir'd by you ! 
" Begone ■ ! and with you all remembrance fly 
" Of our infernal; damn'd conspiracy !" 


Struck by his poignant sufferings with affright, 
His late associates fly th' horrific sight : . 
Such pangs from those deserv'd reproaches feel 
As rack the culprit on the torturing wheel ; 
And while a moment Conscience holds her sway, 
Forget their doctrines, half inclined to pray ; 
But soon, asham'd their errors to confess, 
With care each soul-awak'ning thought repress ; 
And, to conviction sedulously blind, 
Impute his terrors to his weaken' d mind ! 
Nor heed what sages fam'd, with wisdom fraught, 
In every clime, through every age, have taught ; 
" That when the subtile ties of life give way, 
M The soul, half-loosen'd from this mass of clay, 
" (Her earthly prison,) darts her piercing eye 
" Through the dark precincts of futurity, 
" And reads, with prescient skill, her awful doom 
" Of pain or bliss for countless years to come !" 

Meanwhile, (all hopes of life or mercy lost !) 
By various, fierce, contending passions tost, 
Curse chasing curse, and groan succeeding groan. 
Till Nature fails, and Reason quits her throne, 
Voltaire, in stupor sunk, resigns his breath, 
A dreadful victim to remorseless Death ! 

Unhappy wretch ! what mortal can deny 
For woes like thine to heave a pitying sigh \ 


If in our passage through this vale of strife, 
Amidst the numerous ills that chequer life, 
One scene of more than common pow'r be found, 
With thrilling grief the feeling heart to wound, 
Sure His, when Death, in all his terrors drest, 
Relentless strikes some unprepared breast, 
To mark the guilty soul, eonfus'd, forlorn, 
By keen remorse and harpy conscience torn. 
Back from the dread, irremeable brink 
Of endless time, congeaPd with horror, shrink ; 
And with prophetic fears anticipate 
The unknown torments of a future state ! 
Her great distress to witness ; and, aghast, 
View hell commencing ere the world be past ! 

From sights like these, which solemn thoughts in- 
To check the current of deprav'd desire, 
Taught to appreciate Virtue, let us turn 
Where o'er their Addison her vot'ries mourn ; 
While he, sustain'd by more than mortal pow'r, 
Awaits with tranquil soul his dying hour. 
Crown' d with the meed of well-deserved fame, 
What Briton fails to venerate his name ! 
Fraught with all fancy could, or sense, impart, 
To charm, adorn, or meliorate the heart ; 


Chaste, unaffected, pleasing, and refin'd ; 
The rich effusions of a vig'rous mind, 
Intent the cause of virtue to befriend, 
And sage instruction with delight to blend ; 
To curb the ardour of impetuous youth, 
" And set the passions on the side of truth" — 
Such are his writings ; which shall ever please, 
Till all esteem for wit or wisdom cease ! 
Smit with Religion's sacred charms, his breast 
In life's gay spring receiv'd the heavenly guest : 
Long, by her cheering influence warm'd, he strove 
To shew the Almighty's goodness and his love ; 
His pow'r, his wisdom, in his works to scan, 
And vindicate his ways to erring man. 
When by disease at length he sinks opprest, 
In th' approbation of his conscience blest, 
Devoutly calm he hears the summons giv'n, 
And bows submissive to the will of Heaven, 

See where, upon yon couch serenely laid, 
The Christian hero rests his drooping head ! 
Tho' racking pains his frame unceasing tear, 
A placid smile his languid features wear : 
Mark where Religion near him takes her stand, 
And waves the olive sceptre in her hand ! 


His bed of sickness she with roses strews, 
Illumes his prospects, elevates his views ; 
Bids scenes of soul-enchanting pleasure rise ; 
And, while yet breathing, wafts him to the skies ! 
'Tis she that takes away (what sin first gave) 
The sting from death, and vict'ry from the grave ! 
Tho* o'er his breast that shaft the spectre shakes, 
At sight of which the hardened sinner quakes, 
To his firm soul, unaw'd by guilty fears, 
No frightful shape the ghastly phantom wears ; 
He deems that stroke which human life destroys, 
The welcome passport to celestial joys. 

When the convulsive throb, and swimming eye, 

Proclaim the hour of dissolution nigh, 

Ere yet the glimm'ring lamp of life expires, 

For Warwick he, with fault' ring tongue, inquires. 

See where the noble youth, with awe impress'd, 

Attends, obedient to his friend's request : 

Soon as that well-known face the sufferer spies, 

What mixt emotions in his bosom rise ! 

View where, pourtray'd in yon expressive mien, 

Meek resignation, faith and hope are seen ; 

With all that warm solicitude combin'd 

For human weal, which marks the gen'rous mind ; 


That tender love, those cares, which e'er attend 
The pious Christian, and the feeling- friend ! 
Hear him to the lov'd youth, with dying breath, 
This last inestimable gift bequeath, 
(Benign affection beaming from his eye,) 
" See in what peace the Christian can die 1" 

Ye self-caird sages, who, to wisdom blind, 

Strive to corrupt and brutalize mankind ; 

Ye who, of ignorance and error vain, 

Count virtue loss, and irreligion gain ; 

The riches of redeeming grace despise, 

And slight those truths the wise and virtuous 

prize ; 
Can you, regardless of the wild despair, 
The cruel sufPrings of your lovM Voltaire, 
And still unmovM, forbear to deprecate 
His dreadful woes ; nor strive to shun his fate ! 
Can you, a willing prey to guilt resign'd, 
Still harden'd view that heavenly frame of mind, 
That peace of soul which Addison displays, 
Nor each to Heav'n, in pray'r, your voices raise — 
" All-gracious God ! on me thy mercies show'r, 
" And crown, like Addison's, my dying hour ! 
" Sustain my soul with hopes of future bliss, 
f And let my latter moments be like his !" 


Oh ! may the awful truths these lines Suggest* 
Be on each mind indelibly imprest! 
Taught their eternal interest to discern, 

May all mankind th* important lesson learn 

That tho', when free life's circling current plays, 

And all things promise length of prosp'rous days, 

The impious man his anguish may conceal, 

And from the wolf that tears his vitals steal ; 

Nay more — that tho' when, on a death-bed cast, 

The wretched unbeliever breathes his last, 

A daring spirit, pride, the hope of fame, 

A seared conscience, or the fear of shame, 

In some of thousands, haply may suppress 

The full confession of supreme distress, — 

Full oft the scenes which mark life's closing hour, 

When vain all human skill, all earthly power, 

In soul-expressive language testify, 

"Men may live fools, but fools they cannot 

"DIE !"* 

• Young's Night Thoughts — Night IV, line last. 



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